S&D Budget Newsletter - November 2016

1. Editorial

EN

The Parliament amidst a budgetary fight

The past two years have highlighted an alarming phenomenon: the EU does not have the means to respond efficiently to the challenges it faces. Its capacities for action are severely limited due to an undersized budget. The display of the Union's powerlessness feeds its detractors, while the threat of a new payments crisis is imminent.

Against this backdrop, the European Parliament rejects every fatalism. Dismayed by the gap between the new measures announced by the Council on a regular basis and the shortfall of the actually available budgetary resources, the European Parliament called in July for a substantial revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. 

The European Commission acknowledged the unsustainable nature of the situation and endorsed the Parliament's position. The Commission's proposal for a revision is essentially based on an extension of the flexibility instruments. The Council disclosed its proposal last week - a proposal which is still far-flung from the objective needs.

This is the reason why we took the decision to stick to an ambitious Budget 2017 proposal, which contains two priorities: the Youth Employment Initiative and the Programmes for Growth and Employment, as well as a significant revision of the MFF 2014-2020, especially as concerns the flexibility, which is needed in order to be fully able to use those margins that have been unused so far.

We have no other choice if we want to restore a real coherence between policy announcements and budgetary means, but it is the Parliament's responsibility, as an institution and elected representative of the interests of the Europeans. Otherwise the credibility of the entire Union might be at stake.


Isabelle Thomas

Member of the European Parliament

Vice-President of the Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament

in charge of Budget, Cohesion Policy, Agriculture and Maritime Affairs

Co-Rapporteur on the mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020

 

Jens Geier

Member of the European Parliament

Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgets

General Rapporteur on the 2017 EU Budget

 

FR

Le Parlement  au cœur de la bataille budgétaire


Les deux années écoulées ont mis en lumière un phénomène alarmant : l’Union européenne n’a pas les moyens de répondre efficacement aux défis auxquels elle est confrontée. Ses capacités d’actions se trouvent sévèrement limitées par un budget sous-dimensionné. Le spectacle de l’impuissance de l’Union alimente les discours de ses détracteurs, alors que plane la menace d’une nouvelle crise des paiements.

Dans ce contexte, le Parlement européen refuse toute fatalité. Consterné par le décalage entre les nouvelles mesures annoncées régulièrement par le Conseil et l’insuffisance des moyens budgétaires réellement disponibles, le Parlement européen réclamait en juillet une révision sérieuse du Cadre Financier Pluriannuel (CFP) 2014-2020.

La Commission européenne, reconnaissant le caractère insoutenable de la situation, a suivi le Parlement. Le projet de révision de la Commission est pour l’essentiel fondé sur des extensions des outils de flexibilité. Le Conseil a rendu sa copie la semaine dernière, copie qui reste très éloignée des besoins objectifs.

C’est la raison pour laquelle nous avons pris la décision de tenir sur un projet de Budget 2017 ambitieux avec deux priorités, l’initiative pour l’emploi des jeunes et les programmes de soutien à la croissance et à l’emploi, et d’obtenir une révision significative du CFP 2014-2020, notamment en matière de flexibilité pour utiliser pleinement les marges jusqu’alors inutilisées.

Nous n’avons pas d’autre choix si nous voulons rétablir une véritable cohérence entre les annonces politiques et les moyens budgétaires. Il en va de la responsabilité du Parlement en tant qu’institution élue et représentante des intérêts des européens, et de la crédibilité de l’Union toute entière.


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

Co-Rapporteur sur la révision à mi-parcours du Cadre Financier Pluriannuel 2014-2020


Jens Geier

Député européen

Vice-Président de la Commission des Budgets

Rapporteur sur le Budget 2017


2. Contribution from MEPs on key issues

Prolongation of the European Fund for Strategic Investments


EN

The initiative of the S&D Group of launching an ambitious investment plan as a key element for refocusing European economic policy towards growth and investment was partially reflected in the Investment Plan for Europe, which was presented by President Junker in November 2014.

However, since the very beginning the S&D Group warned that the related proposal from the Commission was lacking the necessary means for creating a tool capable of promoting investment projects in line with the EU priorities. Considering that during this first year the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has mobilized 116 billion euro in 26 Member States, by bringing benefits to more than 200.000 SMEs, the Commission is now following our political line by submitting a new proposal for the so called EFSI 2.0, which would double the support of the current EFSI both in terms of duration and financial capacity. The new plan would indeed increase the initial amount of 315 billion euro to at least half a trillion euro and would be implemented until 2020, end of the current MFF period.

The S&D Group welcomes this initiative and at the same time warns that its success will depend on whether or not the related projects will be implemented according to the principle of additionality. The Group also highlights the relevance of certain aspects, such as balanced geographical coverage, sustainability and efficient technical assistance at national level, with the aim of facilitating access to funds for project promoters as well as local and regional authorities.

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ES

La iniciativa del grupo S&D de lanzar un ambicioso plan de inversión como elemento clave para reorientar la política económica europea hacia el crecimiento y la inversión  quedó parcialmente plasmada en el Plan de Inversiones para Europa presentado por la Comisión Junker en noviembre de 2014. 

Sin embargo, ya en ese momento, desde nuestro grupo avisamos de que la propuesta de la Comisión carecía de los medios necesarios para convertirse en la herramienta de inversión necesaria para promover proyectos en línea con las prioridades políticas de la UE.  Si bien a lo largo de este primer año, el Fondo Europeo de Inversiones Estratégicas (EFSI) ha movilizado 116 mil millones de euros en 26 Estados miembros, beneficiando a más de 200.000 pequeñas y medianas empresas (PYME), casi un año después de su entrada en vigor, la Comisión nos da la razón presentando una propuesta, el llamado EFSI 2.0, cuya intención es duplicar el EFSI, tanto en términos de duración como de capacidad financiera ya que extendería los 315 mil millones de euros iniciales a medio billón de euros hasta 2020, final del actual marco financiero plurianual.

Desde el grupo S&D saludamos esta iniciativa aunque queremos hacer hincapié en que el éxito de esta iniciativa reside en la verdadera adicionalidad de los proyectos.  También insistimos en el aspecto de la cobertura geográfica y la dimensión social y de sostenibilidad así como en la importancia de la asistencia técnica local en los estados miembros para facilitar el acceso a los promotores de proyectos y a las autoridades locales y regionales.

Eider Gardiazábal Rubial

Member of the European Parliament

S&D Coordinator of the Committee on Budgets

 

3.  Interinstitutional Conference - September 2016


Interinstitutional Conference with National Parliaments on the Future Financing of the EU

Brussels, 7-8 September 2016

S&D Group with national Parliaments

From the 7th to the 8th of September the European Parliament hosted the Interinstitutional Conference on the Future Financing of the EU, in order to involve national Parliaments in the revision of the EU own resources system.

Participants included members from the European Parliament and the 41 national parliamentary chambers of the EU member states, as well as representatives from national governments, the EU institutions and the High Level Group undertaking the review of the own resources system. 

On the first day the attendees were welcomed by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and briefed by Mario Monti, Chairman of the High Level Group. The inaugural meeting was followed by two sessions, respectively concerning the role of the EU Budget in European public finance and the search for new sources of revenue.

The second working day started with an opening speech from Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Budget and HR, and continued with a session on mechanisms for increasing coordination between the EU and national budgets.

 

Key interventions from the S&D Group were made by the following members of the Committee on Budgets:

 

  • Isabelle Thomas – National Parliaments should work together with the European Parliament and the Council for revising the own resources system, which could be reinforced by a tax on multinationals, a border adjustment tax on carbon and a financial transaction tax; she also emphasises that cohesion is a stronger EU policy for investment in the EU than EFSI;

  • Eider Gardiazabal Rubial – Cohesion policy has been beneficial for all member states and Europe cannot continue to be built with a budget whose own resources do not exceed 1,23% of the EU’s GNI;

  • Jens Geier – There is no reconciliation between using EU funds for European added value and transferring these resources back to national level; strengthening the own resources system represents the way forward.

 

Key panellists from national social democratic parties included Giorgio Tonini, Chair of the Committee on Budgets in the Italian Senate (Partito Democratico), and Joachim Poß, Member of the Committee on EU Affairs in the German Bundestag (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands).

 

4. Key dates

 1 December 2016: Vote on the General budget for the European Union for 2017 - all sections 


5. Recent tweets


https://twitter.com/Isabel_thomasEU/status/788683256451493888

 

 

Macintosh HD:Users:matthieu:Desktop:Capture d’écran 2016-11-09 à 12.22.17.png

https://twitter.com/Isabel_thomasEU/status/788649236158091264

 https://twitter.com/EGardiazabal/status/780845718395293697

 

6.  Inside the Committee on Budgets

 A video from plenaryIsabelle Thomas’s presentation of the resolution on the revision of the MFF 2014-2020 (25 October) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ka5ojdBaqo

  

7. Infographic

 Useful numbers (for small infographic)

 

 

Examples of some MFF revision top-ups

 

 

Parliament’s position

 

+6 billion YEI

 

+3.3 billion CEF (EFSI cuts)

 

+2.7 billion Horizon 2020 (EFSI cuts)

 

+1 billion EAR

 

+2 billion Flexibility Instruments

 

Commission’s proposal

 

+1 billion YEI

 

+400 million CEF

 

+400 million Horizon 2020

 

+500 million EAR

 

+1 billion Flexibility Instruments