The European Parliament and Council last night reached an agreement on the EU's budget for 2014 (1). The Greens have criticised the deal, which will leave the EU again facing shortfalls next year. Commenting on the outcome, Green budgetary spokesperson Helga Trüpel said:
"The agreement reached last night is a bad deal that will continue the perpetual cycle of EU under-budgeting. With the budget to be reduced 6% compared with 2013, the outcome is not only devoid of ambition, it will also lead to a situation again next year, where the EU is facing budget shortfalls compared with programmed spending. This chaotic budgeting is not only bad for the credibility of the EU, it will negatively impact on beneficiaries of EU programmes in key areas like social and regional funds.
"The capitulation of Parliament's negotiators to EU governments' diktat is seriously regrettable and the Greens will urge MEPs to reject the deal when they vote in plenary next week. The outcome also sets a worrying precedent for the EU's multiannual financial framework, which is also set to be agreed this week. The Greens are concerned that, despite all their rhetoric, the big political groups are set to cave in to the demands of EU governments and accept largely meaningless compromises on the key issues like own resources, a review clause and budgetary flexibility."
(1) The final agreement will lead to a significant decrease in the EU's budget in 2014, compared with 2013 (commitments of €142.6 billion in 2014, compared to €150.9 billion in 2013; payments of €135.5 billion in 2014, compared to €144.3 billion in 2013). It also includes limited provisions on so-called flexibility. The deal will now be voted by the European Parliament at its plenary session in Strasbourg next week.