Joint press statement by Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit together with Joseph Daul, president of the EPP Group, Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group, and Guy Verhofstadt, president of the ALDE Group.
Commenting on the results of the EU summit, the leaders of the four largest political groups in the European Parliament issued the following joint statement:
"The core priority behind Parliament's choices is the ambition to promote growth and investment in the EU, and thus to contribute to Europe's sustainable recovery from the crisis.
"This agreement will not strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy but weaken it. It is not in the prime interest of our European citizens.
"The European Parliament cannot accept today's deal in the European Council as it is. We regret that Mr Van Rompuy did not talk and negotiate with us in the last months.
"The real negotiations will start now with the European Parliament. We will maintain our priorities which we have clearly stated many times.
"We see with astonishment that EU leaders agree to a budget that could lead to a structural deficit. Large gaps between payments and commitments will only store up trouble for the future and not solve existing problems. We remain firm on the respect of Article 310 of the Treaty which requires a balanced budget.
"In addition to this there are four important points that we will not abandon:
"First, we are calling for increased flexibility using Qualified Majority Voting : between years and between categories of spending. It is a sensible approach which will allow us to make the best use of our financial resources.
"Second, we are also standing firm on a compulsory revision clause with a Qualified Majority Vote in the Council, which should allow us to revise the financial framework in two or three years. We don't accept an austerity budget for seven years.
"Third, with this same sense of responsibility we are calling for new, genuine own resources for the European budget to progressively replace the current system based heavily on national GNI contributions.
"Fourth, we cannot accept a budget based solely on priorities of the past. We must maintain support for future-oriented policies, strengthening European competitiveness and research.
"The outcome of the final budget will determine whether the second decade of the 21st century will be remembered as the time of further integration for the benefit of all Europeans or the time of a standstill for Europe, or even falling behind in a globalised world."