The European Parliament today voted on the EU's budget for 2015. Commenting after the vote, Green budgetary spokesperson Indrek Tarand said:
"MEPs have today tried to limit the damage to key social and economic programmes under next year's EU budget. The original proposals would continue the perpetual cycle of EU under-budgeting but MEPs have voted to ensure the shortfalls compared with programmed spending are kept to a minimum. Regrettably, key social programmes look set to again be faced with difficulties to cover their expenditure. This reflects badly on the credibility of the EU towards its stakeholders but will also hit those who benefit from these programmes. At the same time, the EU is cutting funds in key areas aimed at boosting the EU economy, notably programmes focused on competitiveness."
Commenting the vote by MEPs to suspend funds for industry-heavy policy advisory groups, Green MEP Helga Trϋpel added:
"The EP also took an important step on tackling the role of lobbying in the EU, with MEPs backing a Green proposal to suspend funds for the so-called 'high-level expert groups', which advise the Commission. The Greens have long criticised the imbalanced composition of these groups, which are made-up predominantly of industry lobbyists, yet have direct influence on EU policy in the pre-legislative stage. Suspending these funds sends a strong signal to the Commission that this cannot continue."
Green budgetary spokesperson Indrek Tarand concluded:
"At the same time, we regret the failure of a majority MEPs to back a Green amendment aimed at preventing the brutal bullfighting industry from benefitting from EU agricultural funds. The Spanish blood-sport lobby succeeded in ensuring the EU continues to bankroll bull breeders for this shameful activity. However, with a large number of MEPs having supported the proposal, this sends a strong message that this untenable situation must be brought to an end."