Koelmel: Finding European Parliament’s budget cuts – like looking for snow in summer
The European Parliament’s vote to increase the EU’s budget for 2018 fails to recognise the reality of public finances in the EU and the political fallout from continually demanding more taxpayer money, warned ECR budget spokesman Bernd Koelmel.
The only reduction voted for by the parliament was pre-accession aid to Turkey, a move that Koelmel welcomed but felt highlighter the lack of political awareness elsewhere in the parliament’s budget vote. Koelmel has argued that the parliament’s continued calls for budget increases serves only to fuel continued attacks from parties determined to drive the EU apart.
Bernd Kölmel said:
“Looking for the parliament’s savings in the EU budget is like looking for snow in summer. It seems to me that what happens every year during budget negotiations is that the parliament’s position aims to protect the position of ‘pro-European’ MEPs. This is a mistake that forgets the simple fact that it’s taxpayers’ money we are talking about.
“We have regularly said that it would be sensible to start preparing for the UK’s withdrawal and focus the budget more on key areas such as the internal market, the fight against terrorism and security, research, the environment and migration. Using the EU budget to prop up failing national programmes on youth unemployment and education should not be an option – this is Member States’ responsibility.”
On the vote to withdraw pre-accession aid to Turkey, Koelmel continued:
“It’s right that pre-accession aid to Turkey has been cut, this is an important signal that Europe can no longer turn a blind a eye to serious violations of the rule of law and personal liberties.”