The EU budget for 2018 has been approved today by the European Parliament. It will deliver over €144 billion in payments to member states during the year.
But GUE/NGL MEP Liadh Ní Riada, the group’s co-coordinator in the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) of the European Parliament, said that the outcome is imbalanced and does not have its priorities right:
“The Parliament adopted a much more positive and progressive approach to the budget in October and sent this forward for conciliation with the European Council. The end result is that the Council has merely paid lip service to the Parliament’s position and this happens year after year where all of our hard work in putting forward positive proposals is totally ignored”.
“I will always firmly support measures that will deliver long-term, meaningful and sustainable jobs that will grow society and lead to a higher quality of life for people. There remain some very positive measures such as €2.3bn for Erasmus +, €350 million for the Youth Employment initiative and of course I welcome these”.
“I will not however, support any moves that hold a narrative of strengthening security in Europe. There are dangerous moves currently underway by the larger member states in Europe towards building a European army,” she added.
Commenting on the issue of migration – defined as a political priority for the EU alongside security and job creation – the Irish MEP pointed the finger at the military-industrial complex profiting off war and human suffering:
“The best way of addressing migration and making peoples’ lives safer and more secure, is by stopping flows of money to arms producers. Europe should have no role in financing the arms industry through trade deals and should immediately introduce arms embargoes with nations that are inducing wars throughout the world and specifically in the Middle East”.
“I will continue to argue and advocate that an EU budget should solely concentrate on social infrastructure, social projects and building an equal society,” Ní Riada concluded.

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