S&Ds disappointed with the EU Commission’s proposal on MFF; this is not enough to face current and new challenges

Following today’s presentation of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) by the European Commission, the S&D Group expressed its concerns for a MFF proposal that marks some very timid steps forward, but yet is missing the necessary courage and foresight to face the current and the new challenges ahead for the EU. The EU needs a more ambitious MFF as the one voted by the Parliament on March 14.

It is high time to make our citizens aware: the EU cannot deliver with a budget that only costs a cup of coffee per day per person. The European budget can no longer be based mainly on the contributions of the member states who continue to be obsessed by the logic of the ‘just retour’. Own resources must, therefore, become the primary revenue of the EU budget. In this regard, the document is lacking ambition and it is not very forward looking.

Now the ball is in the Council’s court. The S&Ds urge the Council to open the negotiations without delay: the future of Europe is at stake here.

S&D Group president, Udo Bullmann, said:

Europe needs to embark on a new path of economic and social development, one of sustainable equality and well-being for all. The Commission’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework seems not quite fit for the job. As the S&D Group, we have been advocating an MFF that is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and supports the progressive transformation of the European society. Today’s proposals risk disappointing the many Europeans that expect the European Union to support them in finding answers and solutions to the challenges life confronts them with every day.”

S&D Group vice-president, Isabelle Thomas, commented:

“This proposal is not serious because the amounts proposed would lead to unprecedented budget cuts. With 1.11 percent of the EU27’s gross national income (GNI), this proposal is an outrageous 219 billion euros less than what the EP demanded. Such a proposal would be unable to live up to our citizens’ expectations or deliver significant actions on youth unemployment, sustainable development, climate change, the social pillar, agriculture, cohesion and international and humanitarian aids. The Last-Chance Commission does not seem to have grasped the extent of what is at stake, and blindly follows the member states participating with such a budget to endanger the European Union. It is time for Parliament to make its voice heard. The S&Ds will take no backward steps from the mandate voted by the Parliament on March 14: the EU needs a more ambitious MFF. From now on, the discussion is between us and the Council.”

S&D Group spokesperson for the report on own resources, Daniele Viotti, added:

“We are not entirely satisfied with the Commission’s proposal on own resources. The document lacks ambition and it is not very forward looking. The EC should have detailed in a more specific way how it wants to implement the CCCTB and the ‘digital tax’, while the general ambiguity regarding the rebates situation does not promise anything good for the future. In general, for the moment, we prefer to wait for the final legislative proposals in order to understand how to proceed.”

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