S&Ds: This Budget is for you! The EU Parliament gave another chance to Europe. Now it’s up to member states to show they believe in the European future
Following the vote in Plenary that, with an overwhelming support, approved the interim report on the Multiannual Financial Framework, the European Budget 2021-2027, the European Parliament sent a clear message the European Council and all member states: we voted a Budget for change. Now it is up to European governments to show that they really believe in the European future.
President of the S&D Group, Udo Bullmann, stated:
“This Budget is for you, and it’s a budget for change! If we want to bring change and put people at the centre, we need to put our money where our mouth is.
“This must be a Budget for education, employment, equality and sustainability. There should be no cuts in essential and future-oriented EU policies and we need financial support to new EU priorities. For instance, sound financing for climate actions and the establishment of a Just Transition Fund to support communities and workers, and strengthening of Research and Innovation, investment in the Youth with the Youth Employment Initiative, Child Guarantee and Erasmus+.
“Now we will see if European governments really believe in Europe and in radical change. The European Parliament will start negotiations with the Council and – no matter the pressure – we will defend citizens’ rights and welfare for a different, more equal, cleaner and sustainable Europe.
“If this Budget is not able to embrace economic and social change, we will not be willing to give it our consent to accept it.
“We will continue our struggle for resources to ensure the proper financing of the Budget in economically, socially and ecologically meaningful and effective ways.”
Rapporteur and S&D member, Isabelle Thomas, commented:
“Inaction, lack of solidarity, division among member states and broken promises. How can we be surprised if the extreme right is around the 40% in France, if Italy, the most federalist among us, has fallen into Europhobia, if in Germany, xenophobic nationalists have entered the Bundestag? We risk the disintegration of the European Union.
“What does the European Commission propose therefore for the Budget labelled by Juncker himself as ‘the one of last chance for Europe’? – 16% for the CAP, -10% for cohesion, -7% for the Social Fund, -45% for the Fund targeted for the poorest regions. The Commission has bowed to the governments´ diktat, putting at risk the future of the Union.
“Is it so difficult to listen to our citizens? The priorities expressed are the fight against poverty and exclusion, employment, social protection and public health, the climate emergency, migration, and energy transition. All these policies have a cost and must find their budgetary echo.
“Should we be deaf to not hear the message? Today, with the overwhelming vote of the European Parliament, we have given the opportunity to write another story. In this report, we demand the maintenance of the pillars of the Union, the CAP and cohesion. We are strengthening flagship programs like Erasmus + or the Youth Employment Initiative, and guaranteeing a target of 30% of European spending on the fight against climate change. We are creating new programs against child poverty and supporting workers in de-carbonisation. We defend a responsible European Budget raised to the 1.3% of the Union’s GDP, and the introduction of new own resources to finance it.
“We are the European Parliament! We are the democratic institution elected by direct universal suffrage, the legitimate spokesperson of our citizens and their territories! We have a duty to give Europe the means to act to their expectations. We gave the European Union another chance and we swear not to agree to a Budget that would disintegrate the European ambition. Our Budget, this Budget is for you!”