Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

European Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, responsible for Financial Programming and Budget, speaking yesterday in the Plenary of the European Parliament. (European Parliament photographic gallery).

European Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, responsible for Financial Programming and Budget, speaking yesterday in the Plenary of the European Parliament. (European Parliament photographic gallery).

Last Tuesday 12 March, when the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, was addressing an invitation letter to the 27 EU leaders for the spring EU Summit of today and tomorrow, he couldn’t know the alarming outcome of European Parliament vote on the austerity EU Budget.This draft Budget features  a deficit for the first time in the history of the Union. Rompuy possibly expected the rejection, but there was no way that Rompuy knew the extent of the negative vote, with 506 parliamentarians rejecting the Budget, only 161 endorsing it and 23 abstaining.

With this decision the European Parliament rejected not only the 2014 budget, but the whole seven year fiscal exercise 2014-2020, for the entire package of European Union spending, called Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). It has to be reminded that the 27 leaders in their winter summit at the beginning of last February had a very rough time concluding an agreement on the EU spending for this seven-year period. That agreement was then rejected right away by the four major EU Parliament parties with joint announcement. This was a rare, if not unique, occasion that the four main parliamentary political parties, the European People’s Party (EPP), the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D Group), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the Greens/EFA Group agreed unanimously on such an important issue as the EU Budget.

Now however this political agreement between the four main European political parties, took the form of a decision/resolution in a Parliamentary plenary. This development triggers a procedure of negotiations between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission over the needed changes in the Budget, so as it can be accepted by legislators.

According to a yesterday’s announcement by the Parliament, “The resolution highlights the growing problem of payment shortfalls, which prevent bills being paid and jeopardize EU programmes. Last year’s shortfalls meant that several important EU programmes, such as Erasmus, the Research Framework Programme and the Social Fund ran out of funds early in the year…

The resolution gives Parliament’s negotiators a strong mandate to ensure that the MFF is flexible enough to allow available funds to be used optimally. Parliament also calls for a review of MFF spending, so as to give the newly elected Parliament and Commission an opportunity to influence the budgets that they will inherit from today’s legislators”.

What next

It seems then that the European Summit of the 27 leaders, despite the fact that they have very pressing business to attend today and tomorrow, like the turbulent relations with Russia and the financial crisis, their discussions will be forcefully focused on this Parliamentary ‘revolution’, returning to them, their difficult February agreement on the Budget as unacceptable.  What about the next steps?

The informal negotiations between the three EU institutions should result in a regulation laying down the MFF, for which parliament’s consent is required. The Parliament is negotiating the legal basis for various EU programmes in parallel, but for the Budget, the Parliament and the Council decide on the basis of co-decision. The announcement issued by the Parliament yesterday however contains also this very interesting paragraph, saying:“If there is no agreement by the start of 2014, the MFF ceilings from 2013, adjusted for inflation, will apply”. In short the Parliament is preparing for a long negotiation with the Council and the Commission.

Incidentally it has to be noted that if those negotiations drag on in length and continue well into 2013, there will be a need for an emergency Budget to take care of the 2014 expenses. In this case the Parliament observes in yesterday’s announcement, that the overall expenditure under a possible 2014 emergency Budget will equal to that for 2013 plus inflation. If this prospect materialises, the expenditure in 2014 will be much larger than provided by the austerity MFF 2014-2020, agreed by the 27 EU leaders in their February Summit. Seemingly this will be the Parliamentary line of negotiations. Very simply the Parliamentarians will tell the negotiators of the Council and the Commission, that if there will be no deal that the Parliament could approve, then the legislators would prefer that the European Union’s budget ‘flies on the Autopilot’. This will surely be a more generous option for the Peoples of the Union.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Humanitarian aid: €24.5 million in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region

Radio still a powerful worldwide tool for ‘dialogue, tolerance and peace’: Guterres

Cities are at the heart of our journey to net zero. Here’s why

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

Data capture, not disclosure, is the way to meet our climate goals

Data protection: Commission decides to refer Greece and Spain to the Court for not transposing EU law

President Juncker temporarily transfers portfolio responsibilities following departure of two Members of the European Commission

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

How to build public trust in a sustainable energy future

Consumer protection: Commission welcomes political agreement by Council on the Representative Actions Directive

Sustainable transport can’t just depend on batteries. Here’s why

Conference on the Future of Europe: preparations continue

Global initiative launched to keep top sports events safe from terrorism

With security improving in DR Congo’s Kasai, thousands of refugees head home from Angola

EU long-term budget deal must be improved for Parliament to accept it

New energy Projects of Common Interest for the Energy Union built on European solidarity

How leaders can use ‘agile governance’ to drive tech and win trust

Trump’s self-centered politics unravels

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

Commission launches new edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2019

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

‘Maintain calm’ and ‘exercise patience’ UN envoy urges, as Nigeria heads to polls

The Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Explained

‘The time for action is now’ senior UN peacekeeping official says, urging support for regional force combating Sahel terrorism

Eurobarometer: Not a single answer about what the Banking Union will cost to citizens

LGBTQ+: The social evolution of a minority

What is ‘circular denim’ and why are top brands redesigning jeans?

‘Abhorrent’ ambulance attack in Libyan capital imperils life-saving work, warns UN

Removing deadly mines means ‘new horizons and hope’, clears a path to SDGs, says UN chief

FROM THE FIELD: Murals help heal wounds of bloody conflict in Guatemala

EU mobilises international donors to support Venezuelan refugees and migrants and countries in the region

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

This ceramic ink can 3D-print bones directly into a patient’s body. Here’s how

Tanzania’s Dual Burden

5 insights to guide ASEAN’s digital generation in a post-pandemic world

Children suffering ‘atrocities’ as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF

Ageing: Looming crisis or booming opportunity?

UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’

Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders ready for talks with UN chief on improved relations

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

Can climate change wait for the US to rejoin the Paris agreement?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Gamelab founder talks Apple TV, VR and monetisation

We need to talk about mental health at work, say employees

Hungary: Commission takes next step in the infringement procedure for non-provision of food in transit zones

This is the ever-changing state of the world’s top cities

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

How to outsmart bias when you’re recruiting

Hackers can use public USB chargers to steal personal data. Here’s what you need to know about ‘juice jacking’

EU integration: MEPs want to end permanent opt-outs from EU law

5 things you need to know about water

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

‘Everyone must be on board’ for peace in Central African Republic: UN’s Lacroix

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

Meet the man who drove from the Netherlands to Australia without visiting a gas station

Building a Climate-Resilient Future – A new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

UN study projects $32 billion loss for UK post no-deal Brexit

IMF launches a new offensive against Germany

‘Antagonistic gestures and accusations’ drown out Kosovo dialogue hopes, Security Council hears

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: