The Greens/EFA group in the European parliament today decided to reject the Council's proposal for a Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014 - 2020, a proposal which had been accepted by the Parliament's negotiation leader Alain Lamassoure in a personal capacity. The Greens/EFA group said that the proposed deal fails to address the EU’s future challenges and is backward-looking and shaped by narrow national interests.
Commenting after the vote, the group's Co-President, Dany Cohn-Bendit, said:
"The proposal the Council put forward to the EU parliament is unacceptable. In a wrong-headed decision, the European Council cut the European Commission's budget proposal, which was already frozen compared to the 2013 budget, by a further €85 billion, a reduction of almost 9%. To add insult to injury, the spending priorities are totally unbalanced, the Council serving narrow national interests to the detriment of future-oriented investments, with the Council's heaviest cuts hitting the areas of education, research, competitiveness and development aid. This budget is therefore simply not up to the challenges which lie ahead for Europe."
The group's Co-President, Rebecca Harms, stated:
"As things stand, the Council didn’t even move on a series of conditions the European parliament put forward for their endorsement of the deal. There is for example no binding pledge for the introduction of a system of own resources. In addition to this, the flexibility offered up as bait by the Council for the European parliament to agree to the compromise is not sufficient, having been reduced to its bare minimum. Furthermore, the post-electoral revision clause, which will give EU institutions an opportunity to correct the errors of this decision, is non-binding and requires unanimity – which will inevitably open the door to national interests again. And the question of the outstanding payments for this year's budget remains unresolved. After analysing all the facts, the Greens/EFA group has today decided that it cannot support an agreement which is fundamentally unsound. We expect the Council to come up with a better offer."