Budget 2018: ALDE monitors financing of EU priorities
The European Parliament, meeting at its plenary session in Strasbourg, today adopted a draft budget for 2018, representing a significant increase compared to the Council's position, both in commitment appropriations, increased to € 161.8 billion (+ 2.9 billion), and payments, set at 146.1 billion (+1.7 billion). The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe has supported this increase as we deem it necessary for the full financing of EU priority programs, such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), for infrastructure projects , the Horizon 2020 R & D framework program, the Erasmus student exchange program or COSME, which benefits SMEs.
"Notwithstanding the objective reasons for increasing spending on competitiveness and growth, it is a good fiscal strategy, while Brexit puts a lot of uncertainty on the next Financial Framework, to set payments at a reasonable level while taking full advantage of the margins envisaged by the current one, " commented the chairman of the parliamentary committee of budgets (BUDG), Jean ARTHUIS (LREM, France). ALDE has largely influenced this budget, in particular by securing the freezing of a substantial part of the funds earmarked for Turkey's pre-accession, pending tangible progress on the part of Ankara in the field of human rights and political reforms.
Gérard DEPREZ (MR, Belgium), ALDE coordinator in the BUDG committee and ALDE spokeperson for the 2018 budget of the European Parliament and the other European Institutions, welcomed the adoption of his amendments in favor of the creation of a financial assistance mechanism for the victims of terrorist attacks. "Our financial solidarity cannot be limited to the consequences of fires, earthquakes and floods. In a Europe that wants to be a Europe of values, the victims of terrorism deserve at least as much attention", Deprez said.
Anneli JÄÄTTEENMÄKI (Suomen Keskusta, Finland), ALDE spokesman for the 2018 budget, led the offensive to bring the EU closer to the goal of allocating 20% of EU spending to climate relevant actions and programs in line with the Union commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement. "We are very disappointed that the Commission has failed to present a draft budget that is in line with commitments made by the Union in the field of climate spending. Therefore we are driving for more climate relevant spending in the next annual budget and we call on the Commission to come forward with realistic proposals now to aim to improve the situation", said Mrs Jäätteenmäki.