Extracts from the press conference by Janusz Lewandowski on the Budget 2013 proposal
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 25/04/2012 First transmission: 25/04/2012
On 25 April 2012, Janusz Lewandowski, Member of the EC in charge of Budget and Financial Programming, gave a press conference on the Budget 2013 proposal.
The EU's draft budget for 2013 reflects the European Council's statements that growth and employment in the EU can only be achieved by combining fiscal consolidation and investment into future growth.
The EU budget usefully complements national efforts in this regard by concentrating investment on the priority areas defined in the EU's growth strategy Europe 2020, while at the same time taking into account the difficult economic context and pressure on national budgets. The draft budget 2013 freezes future expenditure: the increase of commitments (i.e. tomorrow's payments) is at the level of inflation (2%). It also freezes the Commission's administrative budget at well below inflation level, while cutting its staff by 1%, the first step towards the goal of a 5% reduction of staff in 5 years.
At the same time, it proposes a 6.8% increase in the level of payments. This contributes directly to growth and jobs in Europe. The EU budget must meet its contractual obligations of current and previous years vis-à-vis the Member States and other recipients.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General views of the press conference (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Janusz Lewandowski, Member of the EC in charge of Budget and Financial Programming (in ENGLISH): Commitments are the future payments that are obligation to pay; therefore our strategy is to freeze them, no to produce excessive payments obligations in the future and payments are also yesterday's voted commitments; payments that are obligation to pay resulting from agreed programs, agreed commitments in the past.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Janusz Lewandowski (in ENGLISH): Our budget is a modest one that is neither at the roots of the existing fiscal crisis in the Member States nor the solution to the debt and deficit of a Member State. We have calculated that even if we take interest rates on debts of a Member State of the EU, interests are equal to our budget multiplied by 3 so this is not the solution to the Member States' problems.
||Cutaways of the audience (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Janusz Lewandowski (in ENGLISH): What I would like to quote on this occasion is that we are really in line with the conclusions of the European Council saying that the Council is aware that equilibrium between austerity and necessary investments has to be found. Restrictive measures should not hamper the respect of commitments already made and the implementation of the Union actions contributing to the fight against the negative effects of the crisis, notably by boosting growth and employment at the EU level.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Janusz Lewandowski (in ENGLISH): So here is the draft budget 2012; you see the overall figures down, that is 2% growth and commitments, 6.8% growth and payments; what is growing is clearly visible in the column of payments for 2012, that is more than 17% for competitiveness: various research programs, competitiveness programs, trans-European networks and so on and what is growing is cohesion: 11.7%.
||Geneneral views of the press conference (4 shots)