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S&Ds to member states on 2022 EU budget: “Don't cut money for recovery behind the back of Europeans!”

Date

04 Oct 2021

Sections

Euro & Finance

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament strongly oppose the plans of the member states in the Council who want to make considerable cuts from the EU budget for next year. They voted today for texts in the 2022 budget in the EP’s committee on budgets asking for adequate funding that corresponds to the recovery goals declared by the national government of the member states in the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Victor Negrescu, Romanian MEP and S&D negotiator on the EU budget for 2022, said:

“For us, the Socialist and Democrats in the EP, what matters most in the EU budget are the three priorities for the future of our citizens. The first one is to support the social recovery. This would be only be possible if the EU makes sure there is enough money and we focus it on youth, employment, education, and social policy and if we support the backbone of our economy - the small and medium enterprises and the start-ups. The second priority is to invest in a sustainable future. In other words - funding for research and innovation, including investments in health, digitalisations, and smart, sustainable and affordable transport and agriculture. The third priority concerns solidarity and EU values without which our Union would not be true to itself. We talk here about funding measures for gender equality, social cohesion and external actions with specific regard to development cooperation in third countries.

“However, what we see is extremely worrying. The Council is going in the wrong direction by cutting 1,43 billion euros from different headings in the EU budget. We know from experience how in times of crises, cutting funding and austerity are the reasons behind a disastrous result for the EU economy and for the recovery of so many economies, local communities and families in Europe in the last 10 years and more. We, the Socialists and Democrats, see the EU budget as a leverage to eradicate child poverty. Having this as a guiding principle, we call for a major increase of 3 billion euros dedicated to the Child Guarantee. This instrument is one of the best achievements of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council, led by the Socialist government of António Costa. It would be extremely cynical if the right-wing governments, the Council and our colleagues from the right-wing political groups in the European Parliament refuse the funding for the Child Guarantee, and thus prefer to close their eyes to the shameful and yet existing phenomenon of child poverty in Europe”.

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D spokesperson in the EP’s committee on budget, said:

“We cannot afford another year without fully operational EU funding that is part of the new EU pluriannual budget for the period 2021-2027. Unfortunately, 2021 became one such year and we must not let 2022 follow this example. Besides, we are sending a strong message, not just to the member states who want to cut the money for the EU budget. We also tell the European Commission it is high time for them to tell where the EU will get own resources to finance the ambitious goals it declares for the benefit of Europeans. Without a clear plan for own resources in the EU budget, presented as soon as possible, the European Commission is only making ‘beautiful’ promises. We, the Socialists and Democrats, cannot let our citizens be misled when they count so much on us to deliver social recovery.

“Not taking the social aspect into account when drafting the EU’s budget is an extremely wrong approach, and we are all going to pay a very high price if we follow the way proposed by the member states in the Council, asking for budgetary cuts behind the back of Europeans. One example is the transport policy; we want smart and sustainable transport to be affordable to all our citizens. Another example is the just digital transition. Translated into the language of everyday life this means we have to prepare Europe for the digital world where everybody can benefit, not just the privileged ones with access to expensive digital education.”

 

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