Today, European Commissioner for Budget, Günther Oettinger presented to the members of the Budget Committee of the European Parliament his draft EU budget for the year 2018. This officially launches the annual budget procedure until the end of this year. The European Parliament already set out its guidelines for the 2018 budget earlier this month.
Helga Trüpel, member of the Budget Committee of the Greens/EFA Group is disappointed by the lack of courage in the Commission’s draft:
“The Commission's proposal for the 2018 budget shows little ambition with regard to the great challenges that the EU is facing today. The EU can only deliver if it is given sufficient means to do so. The Greens/EFA group call for a stronger commitment to our common European interest. Brexit must not be an occasion to withdraw financing of the EU, but should be a wake-up call. We need more effective answers from the EU to issues such as youth unemployment, refugee integration and the causes of refugee flight, as well as investment in growth, innovation and fighting climate change. The European Court of Auditors points out that the current EU financial plan risks failing to achieve its goal to invest 20% of the EU budget in climate-related measures. The Budget Commissioner has difficulty acknowledging this, and fails to take corrective action.
"According to Oettinger’s draft budget for 2018, new EU initiatives such as the EU Solidarity Corps will have to be financed partially through cuts to the successfully running programmes of ERASMUS+. This goes against the principles of responsible budget policy and creates unfulfillable expectations."
Ska Keller, co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"The EU must do much more to support African countries that host millions of refugees. It’s a grave political failure that the EU Commission does not want to increase the humanitarian aid to refugees camps in Africa. The EU urgently needs to follow-up on the appeal by the UNHCR and increase its financial help to the 1.8 million refugees from South Sudan.”