22 February 2018
ECR budget spokesman Bernd Koelmel has criticised the unwillingness of MEPs to consider the prospect of a reduced EU budget.
ECR budget spokesman Bernd Koelmel has criticised the unwillingness of MEPs to even consider the prospect of a reduced EU budget when they adopted their position on the EU’s next seven year spending programme.
The proposal from the European Parliament’s budget committee envisages increasing the maximum ceiling for Member States’ contributions to the EU budget, which would see many paying billions more per year.
Koelmel, who fears that the changes could happen with taxpayers unaware, continues to argue for the concentration of spending in areas where there is genuine EU added value. This would include measures to better cope with the migration crisis, strengthening counter-terrorism and domestic security, as well as investing in research, innovation and infrastructure projects. Koelmel now sets his hopes on the subsequent rounds of negotiations.
Bernd Koelmel said:
“There are no clear vision of how the EU intends to tackle the big common challenges that lay ahead. Only if there was a convincing master plan to resolve the problems stemming from the migration crisis could we start talking about increasing Member State contributions to budget.
“In forthcoming talks MEPs need to be realistic and understand that most EU countries are either unable or unwilling to increase their contributions to the EU’s budget. Those countries will be criticised for this in Brussels, who are quick to forget that voters aren’t always ready to foot the bill, especially when they continually see how wasteful the EU budget has been over the years.
“What we need to be doing is pushing to increase the budget in areas where the EU does well – such as research, innovation and cross border infrastructure.”
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