S&D Budget Newsletter - July 2016

MFF revision: 1.2 billion to tackle youth unemployment but more ambition needed, S&D vice-president Isabelle Thomas, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, #TaxJustice,
  1. Editorial
  2. Contribution from MEPs
  3. Visit to Lisbon – 3 June 2016
  4. Network with National Parliaments
  5. Key dates
  6. Tweets
  7. Inside the Budget Committee
  8. Infographic

 

 

 

1. Editorial

FR:

L’Europe n’a jamais autant subi d’attaques nationalistes et le Brexit constitue leur première victoire. Parmi les défaillances qui provoquent le doute ou le rejet des Européens, la question budgétaire joue un rôle central. 

Quelles sont ces défaillances budgétaires ?

La principale, c’est un budget sous-dimensionné, équivalent à 1% du PIB de l’Union, qui ne permet pas de répondre aux défis de l’Union. Car en plus des priorités traditionnelles que sont l’harmonisation des territoires grâce aux politiques de cohésion, et la sécurité alimentaire avec la PAC, de nouvelles priorités sont apparues. Ainsi ce budget est-il censé participer à la relance de l’investissement, à la lutte contre le chômage des jeunes, à l’accueil des réfugiés, aux défis climatiques, et à la sécurité en Europe.

Deuxième défaillance, un déficit qui ne dit pas son nom, mais que des années de décalage entre les crédits d ‘engagement et les crédits de paiement ont creusé, au point d’atteindre 24 milliards cumulés en 2014. C’est ainsi que depuis 2009 l’Union traverse une crise des paiements qui n’est pas sans conséquence pour les bénéficiaires des fonds européens.

Et pour finir, une défaillance structurelle de ce budget dont les ressources reposent depuis les années 90 sur le chèque des Etats membres et non plus sur ses ressources propres. Cette anomalie explique la résistance des gouvernements à contribuer au budget européen, puisque tout euro versé est un euro de moins pour les budgets nationaux.

L’outil budgétaire se retrouve entravé, subissant des coupes budgétaires de plus en plus fréquentes contre des programmes pourtant prioritaires.

Une révision rapide et profonde du Cadre financier pluriannuel s’impose. Sous l’impulsion du groupe S&D, le Parlement vient de voter un rapport ambitieux pour pousser la Commission et le Conseil à procéder aux changements qui s’imposent dès le budget 2017.

Nous sommes au début d’une longue marche vers la reconstruction d’un budget sérieux qui réponde efficacement aux priorités. Nous devrons, pour y faire face, travailler main dans la main, parlement européen aux côtés des parlements nationaux.

 

EN:

Europe has never suffered so much from nationalist attacks, and the Brexit is their first win. Among the failures that cause doubt or rejection on behalf of the Europeans, the budget is a central piece.

What are these budget failures?

The main one is an undersized budget, equivalent to 1% of EU GDP, which does not address the challenges of the Union. Because, in addition to the traditional priorities of territorial harmonisation through cohesion policy, and food security with CAP, new priorities have emerged. So this budget is supposed to participate in the revival of investment, the fight against youth unemployment, the reception of refugees, climate challenges, and security in Europe.

Second failure, a deficit that does not say his name, but that years of lag between commitment appropriations and payment appropriations have widened to the point of reaching a cumulated amount of 24 billion in 2014. Thus, since 2009, the EU suffers from payment crisis that has consequences for beneficiaries of European funds.

And finally, a structural failure of the budget. Since the 90’s, its resources are based on the Member States’ contributions and not on genuine own resources. This anomaly explains the reluctance of governments to contribute to the EU budget, since every euro paid is a euro in less for national budgets.

The budget tool finds himself hampered, suffering from more and more frequent cuts against programs at the core of EU priorities.

Rapid and profound revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework is needed. Under the leadership of the S&D Group, Parliament has just passed an ambitious report to urge the Commission and the Council to make the necessary changes for the 2017 budget.

We are at the beginning of a long march towards the reconstruction of a serious budget that responds effectively to the priorities. To face it, we will have to work side by side, the European parliament alongside national parliaments.

 

Isabelle Thomas

Députée européenne

Vice-présidente des Socialistes et Démocrates au Parlement européen

en charge du budget, de la politique de cohésion, de l’agriculture et de la pêche

 

 

 2. Contribution from MEPs

EN:

S&D vice-president Isabelle Thomas, co-author of the Parliament’s report, said:

“It is clear that the current MFF has already been pushed to its limits in the first two years. If we are serious about tackling the refugee and migration crises, stimulating stagnant economies and tackling youth unemployment then an ambitious revision of the MFF is absolutely essential. This revision of the MFF must take stock of these crises but also take into account other political initiatives that were not anticipated at the time of the MFF adoption.

“We are calling for increased spending in specific areas where it is desperately needed. Growth in many countries is still far too slow and unemployment, especially among the young, is far too high. We need to see the MFF revised upwards in these areas if we are serious about tackling these issues.

"This report is a first step to rebuild a serious and sincere budget for EU and make substantial progress on genuine own resources. We remain determined to achieve those objectives."

Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, S&D Group spokesperson for the budget, said:

EN:

“When we first negotiated the MFF for 2014-2020 in 2013, there were a few hundred thousand refugees arriving in Europe per year. This number is now well over a million. We have to recognise that circumstances have changed and that we need more resources to deal with the scale of the challenge we are facing.

“We also need to look at the way we move forward with how the EU is funded. The yearly spectacle of governments, Parliament and the Commission arguing for months is a ridiculous way to run the budget of a major international organisation. We believe strongly that the EU should have the ability to raise more of its own resources, both ensuring clearer and more consistent funding, and making it more directly accountable to citizens.

“The current MFF also had to deal with an abnormal backlog of unpaid bills from the previous MFF period. We must ensure that this does not reoccur this time. Therefore we are calling for an upward revision of the overall payment ceiling and the establishment of a new payment plan to avoid the mess we were left with this time.”

S&D MEP Jean Paul Denanot, member in the Budget Committee said: 

EN:

The European budget is a tool enabling projects that Member States cannot tackle alone. It is essential to their achievement. It is not a “zero sum game”: it is the expression of common policies with a genuine public value. On the resources side, European budget is currently too dependent on Member States’ contributions. On the expenditure side, the too unambiguous “fair return” logic takes precedence over the creation of a fruitful “new deal”.

Today, there is space for a bigger EU budget to solve crises that cannot be managed but at European level. Its own resources must be diversified: a simple redistribution is no longer sufficient. The use of public-private financial arrangements that escape from democratic scrutiny must be restricted. It is crucial to maintain the model of public subsidies, reflecting our policy choices. Financial transaction tax, corporate tax, environmental tax... It is high time we build a European budget meeting the needs of the population, based on solidarity, redistribution, and reallocation. A budget, which relieves pressure on the Member States and does not affect their citizens. This revenue would be then concentrated on specific common priorities for Europe in the context of globalisation: fundamental research, but also interconnection policies (digital, railway etc.) that connect all European citizens and leave no one outside development.

FR :

Le budget européen est un outil pour rendre possible les projets que les Etats-membres ne pourraient assumer seuls. Il est indispensable à leur réalisation concrète. Il n’est pas un jeu à somme nulle, mais bien l’expression de politiques communes, pour une vraie plus-value collective. Aujourd’hui, le budget de l’Union souffre, du côté des ressources, d’une trop grande dépendance des contributions des Etats membres. Du côté des dépenses, la logique trop univoque « du juste retour » prime sur l’opportunité de créer un « new deal » fructueux, source d’économies d’échelle. 

Il y a pourtant aujourd’hui une place pour un budget communautaire plus conséquent, pour résoudre des crises qui ne peuvent se gérer qu’au niveau européen. Les ressources propres du budget européen doivent être diversifiées : un simple redéploiement n’est plus suffisant. Ce faisant, il faut limiter le recours à des montages financiers « public-privé » qui échappent au contrôle démocratique et préserver le modèle des subventions publiques, reflet de nos choix politiques.

Pour un renouvellement de ces ressources, nos pistes de réflexion sont nombreuses: taxe sur les transactions financières, taxe sur les multinationales, taxe écologique… Il est grand temps aujourd’hui de construire un budget européen à la hauteur des besoins des populations, basé sur les principes fondateurs de solidarité, mutualisation, redistribution. Un budget qui allège la pression sur les Etats-membres et n’impacte pas leurs citoyens.

Ces recettes seraient ainsi concentrées sur des priorités communautaires ciblées, pour lesquelles l’Europe, dans le cadre de la mondialisation, a intérêt à jouer groupée : la recherche fondamentale, support de tout progrès, mais aussi les politiques d’interconnexion (numériques, ferroviaires, électriques…) qui relient tous les citoyens européens et ne laissent personne en dehors des dynamiques de développement.

 

 

3.  Visit to Lisbon – 3 June 2016

Since 2015, the S&D organises visits to certain European capitals. The purpose of these visits is to strengthen S&D relations with socialist/social democrat members of national parliaments who are responsible for budgetary and EU issues. These missions are of particular importance, also in light of our political family's advocacy for change in the economic governance of the EU.

On 3 June 2016, Isabelle Thomas, the S&D Vice-President in charge of budgetary matters, Eider Gardiazabal, S&D Coordinators to the Committee on budgets (BUDG), and Pedro Silva Pereira, Vice-President of the Portuguese delegation to the S&D Group, went to Lisbon where they met with the socialist members of the Portuguese parliament: Eurico Brihante Dias, Paulo Trigo Pereira and Votalino Canas, as well as with the PS International Secretary, Porfirio Silva.

An interesting discussion took place and included: the European Fund for Strategic Investment and the implementation of the Junkler investment plan; the cooperation between the EP and the national parliaments; the EU budget, the revision of the MFF and of the system of own resources; challenges of migration, fighting the terrorism and of the populism gaining importance on the political scene.

 

Discussion partners agreed that, given that we are at a critical turning point, we urgently need a vision for Europe as well as an open discussion on whether we want to go forward with the EU project. 

 

 

4. Network with National Parliaments 

Taking into consideration the crises challenging the European Union (EU), the scarcity of the EU budget available to cope with them and the upcoming Interim review and revision of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the S&D Group hosted a workshop on the EU Budget on the 2nd of June, aimed at strengthening relations with socialist and social-democrat members of national parliaments. The participants were representing Italy, Greece, France, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and Luxembourg and were responsible for budgetary and European affairs issues. Following the discussions between the S&D members in the budget committee and the participants from the national parliaments, this workshop helped the S&D Budget team to achieve a common understanding on the political position of the S&D Group on the Interim Revision of the MFF 2014-2020 and the importance of reforming the Own resources. 

The conclusions drawn after the workshop were that the EU must be ready to provide the necessary means for implementing its policies. A mandatory mid-term review accompanied by a proposal for a revision is due by the end of 2016. The time to propose necessary changes to respond to the budgetary failures which are jeopardizing the credibility of the European Union has come. The S&D Group strongly believes that the only way to respond to the crises and to accomplish the tasks given to the European Union, including protection of its citizens, is to make an upward revision of the MFF ceilings, and to enhance the flexibility provisions of the MFF.

 

5. Key dates

 

6. Tweets 

  

 7.  Inside the Budget Committee

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D spokesperson and coordinator for Parliament's budget committee speech in the plenary  on the Preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/plenary/video?intervention=1467725998206

 

 

8. Infographic