Today the European Parliament held a plenary debate on the next seven-year EU budget for the period 2021-2027.
During the debate, the leader of the S&D Group Iratxe García called on member states to be ambitious when they meet on February 20th, and to engage in a serious discussion with the European Parliament, which demands 1,3% of GNI.
Iratxe García also regretted that the president of the EU Council, Charles Michel, was not present for this important debate.
Iratxe García said:
“The proposal made by this Parliament is very reasonable. It’s the funds we need to deliver on the political agenda. We want to be leaders of sustainability around the world. President von der Leyen emphasises that this has to be a geo-strategic Commission, and Council president Charles Michel emphasises that we want to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
“We know this requires proper funding, and Charles Michel knows too. We all know, but now the question is whether Charles Michel is able to persuade his peers in the Council. Maybe he is not here because he did not have much to say, but certainly he had a lot to listen to.
“They have to understand that there are no winners or losers here, because we are all on the same side. If someone loses, it will be Europe. This is not about taking money from one policy to give it to another policy; this is about finding the overall balance for the Union.
“Jacques Delors introduced the system of the multiannual financial framework in a spirit of solidarity, and I urge the heads of government to have a European vision.
“And one more message for the heads of government: the Parliament decides on an equal footing with the Council and we won’t give in just because of time pressure, because the future of European people is at stake.”