The European Parliament has caved to Council's austerity demands on the 2014 EU budget, the first annual budget of the new 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.
At the talks, Portuguese GUE/NGL MEP and Budgets coordinator Alda Sousa said that “instead of being a budget for an enlarged, 28 member state EU with greater competences all we see are cuts with next years budget cut by 7% compared to 2013. Structural funds will be again reduced so that room can be made for the European Fund for the Most Deprived People – still these resources will be taken from the European Social Fund. How can we see such a lack of resources in what is still one of the richest continents of the planet? If this would not have such tragic consequences it would be a comedy.”
GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer asked: “What is left for the creation of decent jobs and combating poverty, what is left for research, education, and support for SMEs? Not much… resources for the Youth Employment Initiative, some extra resources for the Erasmus programme, and for SMEs will be front-loaded to 2014-2015 and resources for infrastructural projects, especially in the energy sector, will be postponed. Funding for sustainable environmental policies are now reduced to the LIFE + programme; the same now goes for most European citizenship programmes and initiatives” she said.
“According to the Commission, 52% of the 2014 budget has already been designated to fulfil the needs of the 2007-2013 programmes and projects. Due to the past three years of under budgeting, and despite having nine amending budgets in 2013, the EU budget at the end of 2013 holds a deficit of around €20 billion, with the most severe shortages in social and cohesion funds. Despite this, the talks have resulted in the blind decision to answer problems such as the recent tragedy in Lampedusa with increased expenditure on security programs such as Frontex.” said MEP Jürgen Klute.