The European Parliament today adopted its position on the 2013 EU budget. The Greens welcomed the outcome, which opposes proposals by EU governments in Council to arbitrarily cut the draft budget proposed by the European Commission. Commenting after the vote, Green budgetary spokesperson Helga Trüpel stated:
"Parliament has made clear it will not accept the arbitrary slashing of the proposed EU budget for next year, which is being pushed by EU governments in Council. The EU budget is the best placed instrument for stimulating economic recovery across Europe but this implies allocating an appropriate level of resources to R&D, structural funds and other economy-stimulating measures. Thankfully, MEPs recognise this and have voted to oppose the short-sighted cuts foreseen by certain EU member states.
"The Commission's proposal to increase payments foreseen under the EU budget is necessary to ensure the large amount of open bills from previous years are met. We are already facing payment shortfalls with key European social programmes under this year's budget. However, Council prefers to ignore this and keep the level of payments under the EU budget artificially low while knowing very well that the Commission is currently unable to honour its financial obligations to beneficiaries. At the same time, authorities in the same EU member states are submitting requests for structural fund reimbursements to the Commission which would require a far higher budget.
"A perpetual shadow over the EU budget is the annual waste of vast sums of EU taxpayers' money on ITER nuclear fusion pipe dream. The Greens also regret the failure to agree end export subsidies and subsidies for tobacco production. Instead of this waste, we should be investing more in research, education, green technologies, the sustainable transformation of our energy sector and development. Unfortunately, there was no majority for this. For this reason, our group abstained in the final vote."