S&D MEPs welcome Commission proposal for more money to tackle migration crisis

Pittella on migration: EU governments should put aside short-term political calculations, immigration, asylum, pittella, EU Commission, president Juncker, vice-president Frans Timmermans, high representative, Federica Mogherini, and commissioner Dimitris

S&D MEPs have today welcomed the Commission's draft budget proposal for 2016, which includes a significant increase in funding for external solidarity and provides more money to deal with the migration crisis in the Southern Mediterranean.

The budget, which was presented at the European Parliament this morning by European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, needs to now be agreed by both the European Parliament and the Council.

Speaking after the presentation, Eider Gardiazábal, the S&D Group's spokesperson on the budget committee, stated:

"We are pleased to see the Commission has listened to calls from the European Parliament for more money to deal with the ongoing migration crisis in the Mediterranean.  We have long argued that more funds are needed both to tackle the deteriorating security situation in the region and to help legitimate asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution. We now need to ensure that these increases are not lost during negotiations with the Council."

"Regarding the budget as a whole, we are pleased that the Commission's draft reflects our priorities of growth and jobs. Although the economic situation in Europe is slowly improving there are still far too many Europeans struggling with the effects of the economic crisis. This is especially true for young Europeans and we are concerned by the lack of new funding for the Youth Guarantee in the Commission's proposals."

Jens Geier, S&D Group negotiator for the 2016 budget said: 

"This draft ticks a lot of the right boxes for us - increased funding to tackle the crisis on Europe's borders, more money for investment and jobs, and renewed focus on international solidarity. The pressure is now on the Council. We need to make it very clear that we will not accept wholesale cuts to this draft that take away from these key priorities.

"Too often in the past the Council has been more focused on the headline figure than whether the budget is actually helping Europe deal with the challenges it faces. We cannot let that happen this time."

"In terms of resolving the ongoing payment crisis we see steps in the right direction; however we are still not there. We need to see the details of how the Commission and Member States plan to tackle the issue in a credible and sustainable way."