EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, whose country currently holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union’s Council, met with the Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets, Alain Lamassoure in Vilnius. (Lithuanian Presidency’s photographic Library, 19/9/2013)

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, whose country currently holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union’s Council, met with the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, Alain Lamassoure in Vilnius. (Lithuanian Presidency’s photographic Library, 19/9/2013)

The Lithuanian Presidency of the European Union’s Council is now under pressure over the approval of EU’s 2014-2020 budget regulation, referred to as the EU’s Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), planned to support EU’s expenses for the next seven years amounting to €1 trillion. The problem is however that the approval of the first EU budget for 2014 under this framework is now stuck between the Parliament and the member states (Council).

In this respect during the Budgets Committee meeting of the Parliament on Monday 9 September the Commission and the legislative joined forces in repelling the Council’s position for a severely cut EU budget for next year, as presented to them by a Lithuanian vice-minister. As if this was not enough to block the budget approval procedure, the three major parties of the Parliament joined forces and intervened aggressively in the confrontation.

United against the Council

The meaning of a statement issued jointly on Tuesday 10 September by the three major parliamentary groups EPP, S&D and ALDE was adamant clear. It roughly said that, “when the full Parliament will give the MFF its final blessing remains to be seen, as the conditions set out in its resolution of 3 July are still not met”. It goes without saying that the legislators will continue holding back their approval of the MFF 2014-2020 until an agreement is reached also on the 2014 budget. In short the Parliament’s position for both the 2014 budget and the MFF 2014-2020 framework will be discussed and voted almost simultaneously.

This unification of two seemingly independent procedures in the Parliament has a hidden content. The Parliamentarians fear that the Council aims at financing the coverage of a good part of the Union’s 2012 and 2013 unpaid bills with 2014 funds and not by an independent addendum to the 2013 budget, as they wished and it was agreed in July. Those bills amount to €11.2 billion. Member states’ economy and finance ministers (ECOFIN) took a formal decision to cover only €7.3 billion of the above amount and said they will decide in autumn on a second tranche of €3.9bn to cover the rest. This last ECOFIN decision is still pending.

€3.9bn away

As things turn out, this has become a key issue for the Parliament as legislators want to make sure that the 2014 budget – the first under the new MFF – is not eroded by old unpaid bills. It’s now evident that the Parliament will not give its final consent for the MFF 1014-2020 Regulation or adopt the 2014 Budget until the entire €11.2bn gap is fully covered by the Council. Consequently the EU budget will remain in the air until those unpaid bills are settled.

In view of this stalemate the Lithuanian Presidency organised a meeting between President Dalia Grybauskaitė with the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, Alain Lamassoure. According to a Press release issued afterwards, “the meeting focused on the issues relating to the European Union (EU) multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020 and to the next year’s budget. Among the other topics of discussion was the EP’s important role in adopting legislation necessary for implementing the budget”.

Stating the obvious is a standard method of press release writing, when there is nothing to tell. Understandably Lamassoure, even if he wanted, that presumably he didn’t, he could not change the Parliament’s positions over this crucial matter since the whole affair has surpassed the Budget Committee. It is now in the hands of the presidents of the three major political formations representing the overwhelming majority of parliamentarians. As the Sting has already predicted, the issue will be resolved by the 28 EU leaders during their last European Council meeting of the year, hopefully to be held in mid December under the Xmas Spirit of generosity. The EU budget is the best way for the affluent to show their solidarity to those in need.

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

Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade’: Guterres

Finland is a world leader in clean energy. Here’s what’s driving its success

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

Syria war: executions condemned as violence continues ‘on both sides’ of border with Turkey

Now is the time to seize ‘unprecedented opportunity’ of the Sustainable Development Forum, says ECOSOC President

Afghanistan extends ceasefire with Taliban; UN urges both sides to work towards lasting peace

EU and China in search of a win-win agreement through strategic cooperation ahead of the EU-China summit

‘Wind blowing in the direction of peace’ in Africa: UN Secretary-General

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN chief Guterres

Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

Century challenge: inclusion of immigrants in the health system

State aid: Commission approves €53 million public support scheme for charging stations for low emission vehicles in Romania

Is China about to launch its own cryptocurrency?

European Health Union: Commission publishes open public consultation on the European Health Data Space

Trade preferences boost developing countries’ exports to the European Union

These are New York Public Library’s 10 most borrowed books

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

China in my eyes

5 charts that show renewable energy’s latest milestone

Making the move to more sustainable mobility – three steps for companies

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

Hungary’s emergency measures: MEPs ask EU to impose sanctions and stop payments

Telemedicine: union when the rule is isolation

International partners pledge $1.2 billion to help cyclone-hit Mozambique recover, ‘build back better’

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Scotland wants to create an ethical stock exchange (Post Brexit)

Addressing the Challenges of COVID-19 Vaccination

The future of the plastics industry is green

A clean energy future with hydrogen could be closer than we think

Human rights breaches in Guinea Conakry and Madagascar

Art, mental health and suicide: different strategies for increasing access to health services

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

How debt for climate swaps could spur a green recovery

The UN’s unyielding effort to tackle sexual abuse and exploitation: our quarterly update

Security Union: Significant progress and tangible results over past years but efforts must continue

Impact investing in Latin America and addressing the ‘missing middle’

Governments must take further action to boost job opportunities at an older age

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

The world’s impact in a small Brazilian town and the increased demand for mental health

Long-term EU budget: The Union’s ambitions must be matched with sufficient reliable funding

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

Further reforms in France can drive growth, improve public finances and boost social cohesion

The best companies to work for in 2020, according to Glassdoor

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

MWC2021 Launches New Initiative to Widen Access for Spanish Industry Professionals

One in three children do not get the nutrition they need

Largest joint UN humanitarian convoy of the war, reaches remote Syrian settlement

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

Sustainable fishing staying afloat in developed world, sinking in poorer regions

A comprehensive strategy for Eurozone’s long term growth gains momentum

Silk Road Unlimited

This is how Europe is helping companies and workers as the coronavirus crisis deepens

UN chief announces progress on committee to shape Syria’s political future

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