EU Parliament says ‘no’ to austerity budget

European Parliament BUDG Committee Meeting: 2014 budget Presentation. Alain Lamarousse, Budgets Committee chair (second from left), Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner in charge of Financial Programming and Budget (third from left). (European Parliament Audiovisual Services, 26/6/2013).

European Parliament BUDG Committee Meeting: 2014 budget Presentation. Alain Lamarousse, Budgets Committee chair (second from left), Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner in charge of Financial Programming and Budget (third from left). (European Parliament Audiovisual Services, 26/6/2013).

The much-advertised agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on EU’s proper budgets for the next seven years seems to be more like wishful thinking rather than reality. Some days ago the Irish Presidency of the European Council issued a Press release saying that the EU Parliament agreed on the overall spending ceiling for the so-called Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, containing the EU budgets of this period.

Things do not seem however to be quite like that. There is reliable information that yesterday the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz sent a letter to the Irish Presidency of the Council telling them that the ‘outcome’ of the negotiations may very well be rejected by the vast majority of the European deputies. Mind you the President doesn’t refer to an ‘agreement’ but rather calls it an ‘outcome’. Probably the Irish didn’t understand well. Let’s take one thing at a time.

Long negotiations

At this point it must be noted that the European Council of the 27 leaders agreed last February on an overall €960 billion spending backstop for the European Union for the next seven years. Within days this proposal was rejected by the Parliament. After that tensed negotiations started between the Irish Presidency, the Parliament and the Commission aiming at the conclusion of a deal before the summer holidays. No EU budget can be approved and applied without the positive vote of the Parliament. Traditionally the Parliament on the one side wants to increase EU spending and the Council and the Commission on the other to cut it down.

All along those past months on behalf of the Council the negotiations were conducted by the Irish Presidency represented by Eamon Gilmore, Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. On many occasions the Irish Presidency appeared to press hard on the Parliament to accept the will of the Council and agree on spending cuts. The Parliament negotiator resisted those pressures and finally last week the Irish Deputy Prime Minister announced that the Parliament agreed on the overall ceiling for the next seven EU budgets set at €960bn. The Parliamentarians demanded certain changes in order to accept the overall ceiling. Theoretically those demands were satisfied last week by the Council and the Commission and the final deal was struck with the Parliament.

Negative mood

The problem now seems to be that the mood among the majority of the European deputies is against this ‘agreement’, which Schulz calls an ‘outcome’. Obviously the President of the Parliament with the above mentioned letter to the Irish Deputy Prime Minister wants to inform him and the Council over the negative mood prevailing in the legislative.

It is very characteristic that yesterday when the EU Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, introduced in the European Parliament the EU budget for 2014, the comments by the MEPs were quite strong. According to a Parliament Press release the questions addressed to Commissioner can be epitomised as follows: “Will the EU budget for 2014 be able to deliver growth, as promised? If youth employment is the top priority in 2014, will other programmes suffer? Can the EU still support youth employment after 2016? And what happens if the issue of outstanding bills for 2013 (11.2 billion euros) is not resolved in time?”

“Seemingly the draft budget for 2014 is the first illustration of the reduction of the new multi-annual financial framework as desired by the Council. The so-called ‘Growth Pact’ is already falling apart in the first year, due to a greatly reduced budget,” said Budgets Committee chairman Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR). Sources in the Parliament insist that the 2014 budget as proposed by the Commission yesterday is 6% lower than this year. “As the Union risks falling into recession, the annual budget will be cut by 8 billion euros. Research spending as well as regional funds are to be amputated by 13.5% and support for SMEs will be cut by 20%”, Lamassoure added.

As things stand now the EU budget not only for 2014 but for the entire seven-year period 2014-2020 is in the air. Late last night the Irish Presidency sounded the alarm and the Irish Prime Minister and his Deputy, Taoiseach and Tánaiste as the Presidency’s Press service insists to call them in their own language,  traveled to Brussels to meet the EU Parliament President Martin Schulz. It seems that finally the Irish understood that it’s not that simple to negotiate with the European Parliament. Probably the Irish have messed it up.


the sting Milestone

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

The ECB accuses the politicians of inaction, continues injecting billions to banks

FROM THE FIELD: Saving the tree kangaroos of Papua New Guinea

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Forced pregnancy in Italy violated ‘woman’s human right to health’, UN experts rule

The 3 traps when it comes to blockchain and business – and how to avoid them

B-I-R-D: 4 digital technologies that can help supply chains take flight

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Trump’s blasting win causes uncertainty and turbulence to the global financial markets

The Chinese retail revolution is heading west

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

Medicine in the 4th Industrial Revolution: the third entity of the new doctor-patient relationship

A Sting Exclusive: “Technology for all, development for all: the role of ITU”, written by the Secretary General of the United Nations Agency

Coronavirus update: COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UN trade agency

A Europe that protects: Continued efforts needed on security priorities

Gender Science: A sneaky healthcare risk factor

‘Save Tuvalu; save the world’; UN chief echoes rallying cry from front lines of global climate emergency

Increasingly under attack, women human rights defenders need better back up

Can elections in Italy and Germany derail Eurozone?

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Why transparency in drug pricing is more complicated than it seems

UNICEF welcomes Bangladesh statement that Rohingya will not be forced to leave

Religious violence is on the rise. What can faith-based communities do about it?

MEPs to debate priorities for 28-29 June EU summit

ECB embarks on the risky trip to Eurozone banking universe

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

OECD presents analysis showing significant impact of proposed international tax reforms

EU trade agreements deliver on growth and jobs, support sustainable development

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

Six steps that can help us to tackle homelessness

Does May have enough time in Parliament to table a soft Brexit deal?

Brexit deal approved by the European Parliament

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

The Parliament paves the way for the creation of the European Banking Union

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: third annual report shows continued vital and tangible support for refugees and their host communities

Mergers: Commission waives the commitments made by Takeda to obtain clearance of its acquisition of Shire

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

Four ways we can fix economics in 2019

Fertilisers/cadmium: Parliament and Council negotiators reach provisional deal

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

Key economic forum in Russia: New technology a ‘vector of hope’ but also ‘a source of fear’ says Guterres

Improve collection of data on disasters, Secretary-General Guterres urges

It’s time for financial services to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Here’s why

Modern farming is harming the planet. Tech-driven permaculture could heal it

Primary Healthcare: Back to the Basics

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

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

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Almost there: Equal healthcare for LGBTQI+

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

Activist Greta Thunberg gets preview of UNHQ ahead of climate summit

Improved access to financial information to curb serious crime

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

How do we build a #sustainableworld?

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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