MEPs call for EU budget boost to tackle financial crisis

30 Sep 14
A special committee of MEPs has called for planned cuts to the European Union’s 2015 budget to be overturned, saying spending should be used as a tool to overcome the effects of the financial crisis.

By Judith Ugwumadu | 29 September 2014

A special committee of MEPs has called for planned cuts to the European Union’s 2015 budget to be overturned, saying spending should be used as a tool to overcome the effects of the financial crisis.

In a vote taken today, the Budget Committee also called for extra funding for economic growth, job creation and education programmes and for the EU’s humanitarian work in Syria, the Ukraine and Palestine.

The EU’s Council of Ministers had proposed cutting the €146bn budget for 2015 by €522m and the €142bn payments proposal by €2.1bn.

But Spanish MEP and Budget Committee vice chair Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, who is in charge of steering the bulk of the budget through the European Parliament, said: ‘We should use the budget as an investment tool to help overcome the crisis. The programmes we have reinforced are of strategic significance for the future.

‘Cutting back EU programmes aimed at stimulating growth, creating jobs, fostering development and supporting education is going against what the Council [of Ministers] itself had defined as EU priorities.’

The MEPs also want to see a funding boost for EU farmers and fisheries hit by Russian trade sanctions and the EU’s three financial watchdogs ­– the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority.

Following today’s vote, the amount of extra spending desired by the committee will be calculated and the full amount voted on in a committee resolution on October 7.

The European Parliament as a whole will vote on its position on October 22. Conciliation talks with the Council of Ministers will begin towards the end of October and should conclude in time for a next year’s budget to be voted on by Parliament on November 26. 

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