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Ceturtdiena 25.05.2017 | Name days: Junora, Anšlavs

MEPs find proposal to reduce EU’s budget unacceptable

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe proposal voiced by the EU Council to reduce the next year’s budget by taking away funding intended for migration, research and Europe’s influence in the world is unacceptable and inconsequential, as concluded by MEPs during 8 September evening debates about the position of member states’ on the EU budget project for 2016.

Member states urge the general budget size to be set at EUR 153.2 billion in commitments and EUR 140 billion in payments. Compared with EC’s initial proposal, it would mean EUR 563.6 million less funding for new projects and EUR 1.4 billion less funding for covering current commitments in 2016.

«The Council’s cuts are unacceptable, incomprehensible and inconsistent. The Council cannot get past the national egotism of the member states. Countries that are demanding solidarity regarding the cohesion funds are unable to display a minimum of solidarity towards migration and are cutting lines that finance migration programmes. Solidarity is a two-way street,» – said Parliament’s rapporteur for the bulk of the budget, José Manuel Fernandes. He also criticized proposals to reduce financial assistance to countries that wish to join the EU, turn away neighbouring state relations instrument funding to Ukraine and poverty reduction programmes in third countries.

EC’s expressed concerns over the council’s proposal in regard to possible budget cuts.

The EU Commission confirmed its position on the next year’s budget plan on 4 September. The main proposals to reduce funding have affected foreign policy instruments, funding for neighbouring states, including Ukraine, and funding for research and logistical network programmes.

The European Parliament now has to prepare its position for the council’s proposals. After that – 29 October – it will be necessary to begin talks between the parliament and the council in regard to a compromise.

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