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Commission proposal on the next EU budget lacks courage and strategy. EU citizens’ expectations are not met, says S&D Group


Euro & Finance
After the European Parliament adopted, by an overwhelming majority, the report on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and own resources, the S&D Group has expressed its disappointment with the proposal of the European Commission which plays a shell game with figures and lacks courage and long-term vision.
The S&D’s negotiator for post 2020 MFF, Isabelle Thomas, said:
"The S&D Group is disappointed by the European Commission’s proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) post 2020. It lacks courage and a long-term vision. The cuts are much bigger than they initially informed us and the increase of investment in some programs is smaller than what they had promised.
“The European Commission narrative draws a fake and embellished reality: a low MFF with 1.08% of EU-27 GNI compared to the current 1.13% EU-27 GNI. Drastic cuts on the Common Agriculture Policy (-15%), on Cohesion policy (-10%), including -6% for the European Social Fund. All this makes this MFF inadequate and unfit to cope with current and future needs.
“Should we think that the European Commission is making-up the budget and playing a shell game with our future? We cannot accept this.
“The broad majority that supported the INI Report in March and today’s resolution, clearly show that, beyond all our political differences, the European Parliament disapproves of this proposal and urges the European Council to enter into negotiation with the Parliament as soon as possible. We can reach a deal much better than this.”
Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, S&D Group spokesperson for the EU budget, added:
“The proposal on the next EU budget presented by the European Commission is not only lacking strategy and courage, it lacks a direction, and it lacks a destination. In the proposal it is not clear what the goals of the MFF package are or what idea of the future we want to transmit to European citizens. What is even worse, it is not clear how we are going to meet the challenges we are going to face. The truth is that this proposal just aims to make the Brexit numbers add up, putting security as a new priority, whilst at the same time cutting funds for social policies.
“MFF should have reflected the 17 common goals for sustainable development, but it doesn’t. Several questions remain unanswered. How can we promote a responsible food production or fight back desertification if the European Commission reduces the funds for agriculture by 16%? How can we eliminate regional disparities if the European Commission cuts the cohesion fund by 12%? How can we imagine to reduce inequalities, ensure a decent work for all and promote gender equalities, if this proposal reduces the European social funds?
“The European Commission owes all European citizens answers to all these questions.”
S&D Group spokesperson for the report on own resources, Daniele Viotti, added:
“The new Multiannual Financial Framework should give an answer to the big challenges ahead of us in Europe, especially in the social field. Member states alone are no longer able to deliver concrete measures to support a more modern and integrated welfare and to invest on growth and employment.
“With the European Commission’s proposal we are starting to work on the new own resources. In the European Parliament we are trying to push a more ambitious position, asking for a better and stronger system that can be both fair and efficient. 
“We should focus more on how to tax multinational companies and to foster green growth by taxing carbon emissions.”