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S&Ds on EU budget 2024: We cannot do more for European citizens with less EU money

Date

18 Oct 2023

Sections

Global Europe
The Socialists and Democrats led a majority for the adoption of the EU budget 2024 in the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg today. The S&Ds improved the proposal made by the European Commission by including funding for citizens to help them deal with the increasing costs of living. We also put a special focus on better access to EU money for small and medium enterprises, which are the backbone of our economy. The Socialists and Democrats call on the member states to be ambitious and agree on progressive measures mitigating the impact of increased living costs instead of cutting money for social measures.
 
Victor Negrescu, S&D negotiator on the EU budget 2024, said:
 
“For our Group, the European Commission’s proposal was a good starting point, but not more than this. While the Commission at least did not propose cuts in funding of programmes for 2024, the draft EU budget for next year will not be adequate to respond to the changing reality around us. The main reason for this is that there is simply not enough in our pluriannual budget 2021-2027 to face the current challenges. Therefore, unless or until there is a meaningful revision of our broader multiannual financial framework (MFF), we will not be able to respond to our citizens’ needs. This is why the S&Ds call on the Council to progress in its discussions and urgently come to the MFF negotiating table, in order to ensure that our EU budget 2024 can deliver.
 
“Severe fires and floods in Europe this summer as a negative consequence of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic that took us all by surprise, the Russian invasion against Ukraine, and now an unstable Middle East - who could have envisaged these crises just months before they happened? We improved the EU budget 2024 leaving room for manoeuvre to reinforce programmes and respond to unforeseen needs next year. The Parliament and our group did our part of the job. Now we call on member states to put their declarations into concrete words and do more for European citizens by agreeing on a progressive EU budget 2024 that leaves space for these kinds of unpredictable events.
 
“Recession and high inflation are a harsh reality for too many small and medium enterprises and European households, especially the most vulnerable among them. As small and medium enterprises are a top priority for Socialists and Democrats, we convinced the other groups to agree on measures for adequate, ambitious and more accessible funding for the Single Market Programme to boost small businesses. We also made sure there is adequate funding for external actions, including our immediate neighbourhood. The Socialists and Democrats are truly committed to a European Union with a strong geopolitical role and a positive impact throughout the world.”

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