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Guy Verhofstadt on budget 2011: it is not about figures but about the future


16 Nov 2010


EU Priorities 2020

Last night, the negotiations between European Parliament, Council and Commission on the budget 2011 ended without agreement. This means the European Union will have no budget for 2011 and will proceed with provisional twelfths. Although the European Parliament agreed for its part on lowering the growth figures of the budget to 2,91%, the Council refused to meet us halfway in agreeing on the political demands of the Parliament.

Guy VERHOFSTADT, president of ALDE, said: "It is very unfortunate to see that although we tried to find an agreement on the figures, the Council refused even to talk about own resources. The only thing we asked was that in the future own resources should be a more important part of the budget. This isn't about extra taxes. This is about lowering national contributions and replacing them by direct contributions. This is no revolutionary idea. In the first decades after 1957 the whole European budget was based on own resources. Reintroducing this system would end the current fight about national contributions and rebates between net-payers and net-receivers. The fact that the Council even doesn't want to think about it, proves its aversion against everything which is Community based. This is a huge disappointment."

"The other demands of the European Parliament weren't that unbridgeable either. For example, we asked to clarify the so called flexibility of the 0,03% of the budget. Until the Lisbon Treaty this 4 billion euro could be spent by the Council however it wanted. Parliament asked to clarify beforehand on what this amount could be spent. Although the Lisbon Treaty says a QMV-decision is needed from Parliament and Council, the negotiators of the Council decided to use unanimity, thus giving every budget minister in Europe a veto right. This is not a proper way of working, but even more, it is against the Treaty.”

“In this situation further negotiations with this group are not very useful. I hope the European Council and the Ecofin are more forward
looking and responsible to find an agreement in the weeks to come”.
For more information, please contact / Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter:
Corlett Neil - Tel: +32 2 284 20 77 Mob: +32 478 78 22 84
Laude Yannick - Tel: +32 2 284 31 69 Mob: +32 495 22 78 37



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