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Budget 2017: S&Ds demand €530 million more to tackle root causes of the refugee crisis

Date

09 Sep 2016

Sections

Euro & Finance
Justice & Home Affairs

The S&D Group is calling for an extra €530 million to be made available in the EU’s budget for 2017 to help boost development and tackle the root causes of the refugee crisis. This figure comes on top of the draft proposal put forward by the European Commission earlier this year. Today was the final day for submitting amendments to the European Parliament’s own version of the budget, which will be voted on at in the second October plenary session.

S&D MEP Jens Geier, the lead negotiator for the Parliament on the 2017 budget, said:

“The EU is facing an unprecedented number of different challenges. If we are serious about getting to grips with these then we need a well-funded EU budget. Firstly, we need more money to deal with the largest movement of refugees since the Second World War. We are calling for an extra €530 million to help tackle the root causes of the crisis. This includes an extra €300 million for humanitarian aid, €60 million for the Development Cooperation Instrument and €67.7 million to support Palestinian refugees and the UNRWA.

“We have worked closely with colleagues from the Progressive family to produce this draft, in particular with PES colleagues from the Committee of the Regions. The number of young people out of work is still far too high across the continent. We are calling for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to be a key political priority with the support of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). We have demanded for an extra 1.5 billion euros for this funded through a revision of the EU’s seven-year framework budget (MFF).”

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D spokesperson for the budget committee, added:

“We need a budget capable of tackling the many immediate crises that Europe faces but that also helps to boost the EU’s long term growth prospects. This is one area where we were deeply concerned by the original proposal by the Commission. We are calling for the cuts to Horizon 2020, which funds research and innovation, and the Connecting Europe Facility, which funds cross-border infrastructure, to be reversed (an offset of €1.2 billion). We are also calling for an increase in funding for programs designed to boost jobs and employment, including an extra €1 million for EURES, which links national jobseekers offices.

“Lastly, we want to see increases in the budget for some of the most successful EU projects such as Erasmus+ that help young Europeans gain experience in another EU Member State. We are calling for an extra €15 million to be made available in the 2017 budget for this, as well as increases for other cultural programmes that help foster a sense of European identify.”

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