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EU budget for 2016 throws money at challenges, rather than trying to solve them

25 November 2015

EU budget for 2016 throws money at challenges, rather than trying to solve them

MEPs have today approved the final agreement on the EU budget for 2016 following negotiations between the parliament and EU governments. The budget will be increased by 1.8 percent in payments but 6.7 percent in the EU’s commitments.

MEPs have today approved the final agreement on the EU budget for 2016 following negotiations between the parliament and EU governments. The budget will be increased by 1.8 percent in payments but 6.7 percent in the EU’s commitments.

European Conservatives and Reformists Group budgets spokesman Bernd Kölmel could not support the agreement reached. Mr Kölmel accepted that the EU budget lines for handling the refugee crisis would need to be increased, but he argued that the EU needs a clear plan in place to tackle the crisis in the long term to reduce greater budgetary pressures in the coming years. The additional funding in this year’s budget of around a billion Euros has contributed towards the margins of various budget headings being squeezed, and making it very difficult for the EU to respond to any future unexpected challenges without raising the ceilings on the EU’s long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework.

Mr Kölmel has long argued that increases in the budget to cover immediate challenges such as the migration crisis should be funded by reductions in lines in the budget that do not add value.

He said:

“This EU budget agreement risks committing more money to projects than the EU has available, and it would make the EU unable to cope with any major new challenges that come its way.

“We do need to move resources into challenges like the migration crisis, but we need to realise that money alone is not the solution, and any extra money for these areas should be at the expense of parts of the EU budget that no longer add value. We should not keep adding new spending upon new spending, and push the limits of the EU budget to breaking point. We cannot support a budget that is unsustainable.”

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