People second to arms companies in Juncker’s budget proposal
Today the European Parliament will vote on the EU’s long-term budget for the period of 2021-2027, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
Earlier this month, the Commission unveiled an EU budget of €1,135 billion for the same period, which corresponds to 1.11% of the EU27's gross national income. Commission President Juncker proposed cuts on cohesion and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) while almost doubling money for security and defence.
GUE/NGL MEPs have fiercely attacked the MFF for its “unprecedented militarization”, denouncing the establishment of the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).
The group submitted alternative proposals for an MFF capable of fully responding to citizens’ expectations, demanding support for productive and strategic sectors, public services, the creation of jobs with rights, the fight against poverty, social exclusion and inequalities, the protection of the environment and the full use of the potential of each country and region.
GUE/NGL MEP Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Féin, Ireland) comments:
“The Commission’s priorities are clear. Cuts to socially beneficial programmes, such as cohesion and rural development, and increases to militarization and structural reform programmes.”
“This long-term budget proposes unprecedented military spending. A move that will reverse one of the founding principles of the European Union. The idea of external threats is being used to push a political agenda of militarization.”
Ní Riada spelt out the real threats facing the EU, which the budget should have addressed:
“Europe is threatened. It is threatened by rising inequality, under-funded social services, high unemployment, humanitarian emergencies, and climate change. The Commission’s long-term budget does not adequately address these challenges.”
“European citizens should be deeply concerned about the commission’s vision for Europe. It is an EU with less direct funding, and more financial instruments. Less support and more interference. Less solidarity, more military”
MEP Younous Omarjee (France Insoumise, France) criticised the imbalance in the budget between some member states:
“For Europe this budget means austerity. For France it means sacrificing its own interests by continuing to pay the British tax rebate until 2025. In addition, France will continue to pay for the rebates on the rebate granted to other countries, including Germany. This is an injustice, especially because France is increasing its contribution to the EU budget.”
“Reductions in funding of cohesion policy and the CAP will affect French farmers and French regions in particular. You can present this budget as you like, it is a bad budget for Europe and a bad budget for France,” Omarjee concluded.