EU budget 2008
EU should put its money where its mouth is
Commenting on the first reading vote by the European Parliament on the budget for 2008 German Green and budgetary spokesperson Helga Trüpel said:
"Less than one year after the introduction of the new EU Financial Perspectives, it is already clear that this limited framework cannot adequately address the challenges that the EU faces. Despite all the rhetoric on making Europe the leading knowledge-based economy, Member States are not willing to put their money where there mouth is.
"The EU budget needs to be revised to find at least EUR 2.4 billion extra for the Galileo satellite project by 2013 or it will remain science fiction. The same problem exists with EU foreign policy where time and again the estimates of the Commission are insufficient to deal with emergency and conflict situations.
"The budget still falls far short of ambition in important areas like the environment - notably the fight against climate change, foreign policy, rural development, education and culture. However the Greens/EFA group did succeed in pushing through a few Green projects, such as pilot projects on sustainable development in cities and rural areas, a pilot for sulphur dioxide emissions trading in the Baltic sea and more funding for the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies fund in third countries"
Commenting on the budget for the European Parliament, French Green and EP Vice-President Gerard Onesta said:
"We welcome the growing recognition of the need to 'green' the European Parliament, with proposals to look at measures to reduce and offset the impact of climate change, renew the EP's car fleet with less polluting cars (such as hybrid cars), measures to promote the use of public transport, reduce energy, water and paper consumption etc. We need to do as we say if we are to be credible in addressing these issues as politicians. In 2001, the Greens proposed that Parliament should lead by example as regards the environment and should participate in the Eco- Management and Audit Scheme. Today we see that our efforts over the years to green the Parliament are beginning to bear fruit."