Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020
Greens vote against incoherent and backward-looking compromise
The European Parliament today adopted the Council's proposal for the EU budget for 2014-2020 (Multiannual Financial Framework or 'MFF'). The MEPs agreed by a large majority to support a political resolution which binds the European Parliament to the compromise on the MFF that was agreed last week. The official vote on the legal texts will follow in September. The Greens/EFA group voted against the final proposal.
After the vote, MEP Rebecca Harms, President of the Greens/EFA group, stated:
"European Parliament President Martin Schulz is responsible for the fact that the European Parliament today voted in favour of an incoherent and backward-looking EU budget for the next seven years. This budget continues the focus on old, outdated priorities. It provides no answer to the current challenges of rising unemployment and recession.
"After all the fighting talk at the beginning of negotiations, we're left with precious little of substance. In the interest of adopting the MFF quickly and with as little controversy as possible, the European Parliament President largely gave way to the pressures from the Member States.
"Due to prevailing narrow national interests, this MFF scandalously neglects to adequately address conditions and poverty in the countries most hit by the euro crisis. While the decision to mobilize €6bn in the fight against youth unemployment looks good at first glance, on closer inspection the financial resources are not nearly sufficient. The plans to 'frontload' or advance funds forward from later years entail risks for subsequent budget years as well as other important budgetary areas."
MEP Helga Trüpel, budgetary spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group, said:
"The Parliament's approval of the deal constitutes a capitulation to the Council's demands. The Member States have refused all of the Parliament's core demands. The European Parliament today punched below its weight and has damaged its long-term credibility in relation to the Council and Commission.
This MFF is a missed opportunity to counteract the effects of austerity policies and give a much-needed boost to growth. While EU leaders remain mired in national interests and lose sight of the bigger picture, the EU fails to address the crisis' most urgent issues.
While budgetary flexibility is currently being touted as a magic wand, there is little actual substance to it. The flexibility ensures only what should be obvious anyway, namely, that the EU is entitled to make full use of its budget. The fact that flexibility is being sold as a major breakthrough shows just how bad the deal is.
The Parliament was not even able to fully maintain budgetary flexibility. Despite its demand for full flexibility, the Parliament's powers to carry over funds from one budgetary year to another remain limited."