Koelmel: Brexit is happening we can’t keep increasing the budget
ECR Budgetary Spokesman, German MEP Bernd Koelmel says MEPs today missed another opportunity to confront financial reality and make savings in the European Union budget.
Speaking after the Budgets Committee rejected significant cuts and voted through a budget totalling €161.8bn. €2.3bn more than the original Commission proposal, he said:
“We know Brexit is coming. Nevertheless, the majority of the European Parliament wants to further increase the EU budget. It still has not learned its lesson. So get back to your homework! Like all of us the EU must live within its means and, with Britain’s budget contributions soon to come to an end, it should be taking steps now to put its spending on a sustainable footing.”
However, Koelmel welcomed an increase in resources for border security and to tackle the causes of migration. His pilot project “Trees for Africa” is also included in the budget draft.
He said: “The priorities of the EU should lie on those tasks that it can solve better than the member states on their own. For me, the management of migration and solving the asylum crisis as well as the common concern for security within the EU is a high priority. However, I consider the spending on the employment initiative for young people to be a well-intentioned kludge of national failings in the employment and education sector.”
“In solving the migration crisis, I think it is reasonable to proceed shoulder to shoulder in the EU. We from the ECR therefore stood up to strengthen Frontex.”
On Koelmel’s initiative, a part of the so-called pre-accession aid for Turkey was also frozen until the country returns to a democratic course. Koelmel said: “This is an overdue shot across the bow. Personally I would have gone further, but that would not have found a majority.”
Under the “Trees for Africa” project, people in regions of Africa affected by population growth will be taught the sustainable use of resources. Highly degraded areas would be improved by sustainable greening.
“The ‘Trees for Africa’ project gives people an opportunity to improve their living conditions, to strengthen their economies themselves, and to provide a perspective for a self-determined life.”