In a debate in the European Parliament in Brussels, S&D Group members have reiterated the fact that they will not support the EU budget for the next 7 years (Multiannual Financial Framework), unless it is ambitious, progressive and able to cover all essential policy areas, as well as old and new initiatives.
Eider Gardiázabal, S&D spokeswoman on budget, stated:
“It is a mistake for the European Council to believe that it can force this Parliament’s hand into approving a budget that is in no way suitable for the needs of the European Union. We have been ready to start negotiations since 2018. This delay in the negotiation process means either that the Council disregards our role at the table, or that they hope to bully us into accepting something that is not in line with what the citizens demand. Either way, we will not back down.”
Margarida Marques, S&D Group negotiator on the MFF, said:
“We have seen how the Council has failed to achieve an agreement. Therefore, it cannot yet engage with the European Parliament. Council is still not ready. Right now, we must stay focused on the essential aspects - existing programmes and new initiatives must rely on a sufficient amount of funding. Our citizens depend on this.
“Therefore, we firmly stand by our demands for a capable overall level of the budget and that we progress further in the use of new own resources. These are essential if we want to achieve proper financing. Should Council delay any further an agreement, we need a safety net in place to protect all beneficiaries of EU programmes as of 1st January 2021. This, however, will be a second choice.”