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S&Ds on EU budget 2024: Conservative proposals to fund walls against migrants with EU money is a red line for us

Date

19 Apr 2023

Sections

Global Europe

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament call on the European Commission to come up with an ambitious proposal for an EU budget for 2024, at today’s plenary vote on the guidelines for the budget for next year. This vote comes ahead of the legislative proposal expected by the Commission for later this year. The S&D Group rejects the attempt by right-wing parliamentary groups to include texts allowing the construction of walls and fences against migrants on the external borders of the Union with money from the EU budget. If amendments 19 and 29 were to be carried, the Socialists and Democrats would vote against the entire report on the guidelines for the EU budget for 2024. The S&Ds fought hard to delete such options from the report on the guidelines, and won the vote in the committee on budgets. Once again, the right wing tries to include such provisions – ones that are unacceptable for the S&D Group.

Victor Negrescu – S&D negotiator on the guidelines for the EU budget 2024 – said:

“With so many problems in our neighbourhood, we need to find adequate solutions to deal with the current challenges. This means providing support for frontline countries while implementing humane and effective solutions to protect our external borders. The real answer to the challenge is in the rapid implementation of the EU Migration and Asylum Pact. Rather than turning the EU into “Fortress Europe” by building walls that cannot protect anyone, we should use our budget to support our Union and our neighbouring countries to find adequate solutions to deal with the current challenges. Our goal must be building and strengthening democratic societies in our neighbourhood with functioning economies that deliver to their citizens, bring them closer to the EU and help them counter foreign interference and threats.

“While other political groups fight mostly for special interests, we put small and medium enterprises at the heart of our policy, as they are the backbone of our economy and provide solutions for citizens to deal with the increasing living costs. That’s why our focus is on adequate, ambitious and more accessible funding for the Single Market Programme to boost small businesses. In this regard, the S&Ds have highlighted the need to support young entrepreneurs through EU programmes.

“Europe cannot lose another generation. For this reason, we ask the other political groups to join us in our call to the Commission for programmes like Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps to mirror the realities with inflation and raised costs of participation. The EU budget should mitigate the impact of rising participation costs in order to guarantee the programme is accessible to all.

“Russia's war on Ukraine, and the impact it has had on global energy markets and prices, has only increased the need for more interconnection of energy supply supplies among member states. The answer to this need is in the EU budget and the better implementation of the Connecting Europe Facility programme in funding projects that boost the interconnection of energy infrastructure within the European Union.

“Our citizens, businesses and economies face such big challenges that this inevitably means a considerable revision of the multiannual financial framework by 2027 if we want to have the means to implement and deliver on all the policies and initiatives of the European Union.”

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