The European Parliament today adopted an interim report on the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2014-20, setting out the core priorities for the EP ahead of negotiations with EU member states. The Greens welcomed the vote, with Green budgetary spokesperson Helga Trüpel stating:
"Today's vote sets out the EP's red lines for the forthcoming negotiations on the future EU budget for 2014-20. MEPs have made clear that they want an EU budget that plays a central role in stimulating economic recovery in Europe and the sustainable transformation of our economy. They have also clearly nailed their colours to the mast in favour of a meaningful own resources system for the EU budget.
"In order to emerge from the economic crisis, we should be investing more in research, education, green technologies and the sustainable transformation of our energy sector. The EU budget represents a value-for-money way to deliver this. In this context, the calls by some net contributing member states, like the UK, to drastically cut the budget would be the totally wrong approach to take. The Commission's proposals fail to reflect the necessary ambition and MEPs have today called for them to be increased.
"It is high time to introduce a meaningful system of own resources for financing the EU budget. This would end the self-defeating annual horse-trading on the budget and allow for clearer budgetary planning for national governments and the EU. There is also a need to end the outdated rebate system. With a vanguard of EU member states set to forge ahead with a financial transaction tax, part of the revenues from this tax should be directed towards an EU own resources system, with ring-fenced funding for development and climate aid.
"The mooted Eurozone budget remains a hazy notion and one with many potential pitfalls. For the Greens, any such budget would have to be additional to the current EU budget. It should not in any way undermine the democratically-elected European Parliament's powers as co-decider of the EU budget. It is crucial that any initiatives introduced in response to the crisis do not weaken democratic controls in the EU."