We need to find a solution to the payment crisis
S&D Euro MP Eider Gardiazabal today won a cross-party majority in the European Parliament to increase the level of payments in the EU budget for 2015 with the aim to prevent further accumulation of unpaid bills.
Today's vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the draft EU budget for 2015 opens the way to negotiations with the EU Council of ministers.
S&D Group spokesperson on the EU budget and European Parliament's rapporteur Eider Gardiazabal said after the vote:
"Today, the European Parliament has sent a strong signal to the member states. We want to find a sustainable solution to the pile of more than €27 billion of unpaid bills which undermines the EU's credibility.
"It won't be easy. I expect tough negotiations with the Council. But the EU is facing an unprecedented critical situation which requires extreme solutions and political goodwill. It can't be business as usual. We are calling for an increase of payment appropriations to prevent further unpaid bills next year.
"The ball is now in the hands of the EU member states. We urge them to ensure that our regions, local authorities, NGO's, students, and in particular small businesses that are the most vulnerable of all, continue to benefit from European programmes."
S&D Group vice-president on the EU budget Isabelle Thomas added:
"Once again, the EU Council has proposed to cut funds in the policies linked to growth. Once again, we urge the Council to be more consistent with EU priorities.
"Our political priorities are clear. We want an EU budget focused on the improvement of European economy's competiveness and on growth and job creation. We want to increase funds in research and development and for education and vocational training. We have also proposed to raise the funds for the farmers and fishermen affected by the Russian embargo.
"While the EU is confronting a flow of new refugees at its borders, we propose to increase funds for asylum policies, migration and internal safety as well as for aid to developing countries and humanitarian aid."
The Socialists and Democrats of the European Parliament fully support the ambitious stance of our rapporteur. There will be no investment plan, no reorientation for Europe without fresh money. The Council of ministers must be consistent and pay its bills.