Reacting to Commission President Juncker’s proposals for the EU’s long-term budget in today’s European Parliament debate, left-wing MEPs have criticised the plan’s emphasis on militarisation at the expense of policies with real benefits.
While welcoming increased spending in research, education and training through the Horizon and Erasmus+ programmes, Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Féin, Ireland) expressed serious concerns with the overall direction of the Commission’s proposals for the EU’s 7-year budget.
“It is scandalous that the Commission is increasing spending to bolster ‘Fortress Europe’ and harden external borders at a time when traditional programmes are being cut. One of the founding principles of this union are the promotion of peace and stability, so what kind of message does this send?”
“At a time of tentative economic recovery, a recovery that many in Europe are yet to benefit from, the Commission has proposed cuts to both the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Cohesion policy. This is just not good enough,” she said, pointing to the need to reform the CAP as the current system favours wealthy farmers and agribusiness at the expense of small farmers and rural communities.
Younous Omarjee (La France Insoumise) said “the reality of this proposal is the weakening of all the policies over which you have competence: cuts for farmers, for fisheries, for the regions. All to finance new policies for which Europe is not responsible.”
“You are building a ‘secure’ Europe via a hypothetical defense and fortress Europe. Meanwhile, you undermine solidarity,” he said. “Mr. Juncker you promised to do better with less, but in the end this will damage cohesion, agriculture, and the environment while increasing economic and social insecurity.”