EU Budget fails to deal effectively with payments shortfall
Press release from EFA MEP Ernest Maragall
Catalan MEP Ernest Maragall (substitute member of the European Parliament's Budgets Committee) has criticised a deal on the EU Budget for 2015 approved today by MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Parliamentary approval was required for the deal agreed between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on 8 December to pass into law. Parliament's Budgets Committee approved the deal on Monday evening.
The MEP criticised the agreement for failing to deal effectively with the EU's payments shortfall. Ernest Maragall called for a proper system of 'own resources' which would allow the EU to properly meet and honour its commitments.
Ernest Maragall said:
"The Council has largely imposed its own criteria during the conciliation of the new 2015 Budget and the 2014 budget amendments, without responding effectively to the Commission and Parliament's demands to urgently solve the EU payments shortfall.
"I regret that after a period of what seemed like unity in the Budgets Committee, the so-called 'Grand Coalition'* in the European Parliament gave in to the last proposal from the Commission.
"The European Union's credibility in these matters is at stake and depends upon how the EU meets and honours its financial commitments. This point seems entirely lost on the Member States!
"This stems from a misconception that the EU's own resources are simply member state contributions. The truth is that the Member States are the collectors of these financial resources as set out in the EU treaties.
"In reality, this shortfall in terms of EU pending payments adversely affects income to the member states. Regrettably, by using the European Commission as a hostage the Member States reduce their contributions whilst opposing pending payments.
"We need an increased EU budget based on real own resources in order to break this perpetual deadlock."
Note: * = EPP/S&D/ALDE groups