S&Ds: We cannot back budget that is too weak to tackle many challenges EU faces

piles of coins with letters BUDGET on top

The S&D Group today abstained on a vote on the EU’s annual budget for 2018. This was the first time that the Group has ever not backed an annual EU budget.

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

"I do not believe that a serious budget for the European Union can be negotiated only within 16 hours. We did not even discuss the need for financing humanitarian aid or managing the refugee crisis. By abstaining, we hope to send a message to the Council: we need a serious budget that is capable of dealing with the many challenges Europe faces.”

S&D Group vice-president responsible for budget, Isabelle Thomas, added:

"We cannot accept a budget that cuts energy infrastructure, payments to farmers and refuses to increase humanitarian aid. Therefore, we have refused to back an EU budget for the first time. The Council needs to take Parliament and citizens’ demands for a well-funded EU budget seriously. We hope they will hear the warning signal for the 2019 budget and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which sets the framework and spending ceilings for the EU’s annual budget.”

Daniele Viotti, who negotiated the 2018 budget on behalf of the S&D Group, said:

“We still face a wide range of challenges in Europe, from how to deal effectively with the refugee crisis to youth unemployment. The budget agreed with the Council does not give us the means to tackle these vital issues effectively. The Council needs to get real about citizens' concerns and give us a budget that can help us address them. That is why we could not back the budget put in front of us today.”