Following the announcement of a deal in the European Council, S&D leader, Iratxe García, said:
“The European Council reached a historical agreement and now it’s time for the European Parliament to have its say. To ensure the best accountability and transparency, the European Parliament and the Council must be on an equal footing, not only when approving the next Multiannual Budget, but also regarding the governance of the Recovery Fund.
“We acknowledge the magnitude of the Recovery Fund and the ground-breaking steps accepted by national governments, such as issuing joint debt. The Next Generation EU will be financed through Eurobonds and most of its 750 billion euros will be distributed in the form of grants, paid through a new basket of own resources. We, Socialists and Democrats, have a roadmap to strengthen EU’s own resources and we will push for it in the next months, as the only way for the EU to pay for the Recovery Fund with solidarity and without adding extra burden to citizens and to member states.
“We will be very vigilant with the governance. We will not accept structural reforms imposed by any member state. This time we are going to put people first when facing this crisis, and that means reaching a balance between the economic, social and ecological dimensions of our policies, in accordance with the European Green Deal. And we will not accept any watering down of conditionality on the compliance with democracy and rule of law. All authoritarian regimes should clearly understand that.
“However, regarding the next 7-year budget, it falls short of what’s needed. It doesn’t match the political ambitions expressed by the European Green Deal or the Digital Agenda. It does not make sense to cut transformative policies such as Horizon Europe, the InvestEU Programme, Development and Humanitarian Aid, Erasmus+, or Digital Europe. These are the strategic policies we need in order to rebuild our geopolitical relevance, industrial autonomy and social cohesion.”