Parliamentary unity in negotiations on long-term budget paid-off
Today (Wednesday 16 Demcember), Members of the European Parliament are voting on a resolution on the outcome of last week's European Council summit on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 (MFF), the InterInstitutional Agreement, the EU Recovery Instrument and the Rule of Law Regulation. Today's vote comes after agreements in the European Council last week and negotiations between the Parliament and Council last month.
Ska Keller MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"It's good to see at the 11th hour the Council give its support to the Recovery Fund, MFF and climate targets; the economies hit hardest and the climate simply couldn't wait any longer. But there have been some worrying trends. There's been a sad show of destruction by the governments of Hungary and Poland who wanted to hold the recovery fund hostage for their anti-democratic agenda. In light of such blackmail we all need to stand strong and united. The Commission as guardian of the treaties must reaffirm that it intends to apply the law to the letter, as agreed by the co-legislators, and protect the rule of law. As far as the Parliament is concerned, the rule of law mechanism must be applied from when it enters into force on 1st January 2021 and without delay. We should not have to wait for additional guidelines to be drawn up. The failure of the German Presidency to act on the ongoing Article 7 procedures is a shameful episode in tackling the rule of law in the EU.
"We welcome that the governments have agreed to strengthen the reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% but it is short of what science is calling for at 65% and after the Parliament already voted for 60%. But a net target instead of an absolute one is extremely worrying, there should be no loopholes to lessen the effect of emissions targets on the big polluters. If EU is to be the global leader in fighting climate change then we’ll need to do more than come up with some creative calculations. It's regrettable that the Council gave in to calling gas a transitional fuel, which it is not. If we want to overcome climate crisis, the future has to be completely fossil fuel-free. We need more ambition and less double standards."
Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"For the first time our group will support an MFF package. Thanks to the efforts of our MEPs in the Parliament and in the negotiations we have succeeded in agreeing a long-term budget that goes further than ever on climate, biodiversity and gender. It is a testament to the power of negotiation and compromise on which this union is built that we have agreed on such a solid long-term budget in such divisive and turbulent times.
"The MFF and Recovery Package are urgently needed to kick start the Covid recovery and get the Green Deal off the ground. We have, for the first time an ambitious climate budget, with strong instruments that will see at least 30% of the EU budget invested in the climate and 10% on biodiversity. This is a real success in building a greener and fairer European Union that is better prepared for the challenges of the future.
"Throughout the negotiations, the Parliament has remained united with a strong voice and that has paid off for European citizens. For the first time we have a binding rule of law mechanism. This mechanism will not be a panacea that heals all the ills of corruption and the abuse of power in Europe, but it's a start and shows that finally there is political will to act on the rule of law. This must serve as a base for future action to protect democracy and the rule of law in the EU. We will continue to fight to make sure that EU funds are no longer open to abuse by oligarchs and corrupt politicians."