Preparations for the Special meeting of the European Council with particular reference to the Multiannual Financial Framework:
- MEPs debate
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 21/11/2012 First transmission: 21/11/2012
Political group leaders debated the EU's 2014-2020 budget with the Cyprus Council Presidency and the European Commission on 21 November, ahead of Thursday's European Council on the same topic. The many proposals and demands made over the past week show that it is extremely difficult for the heads of state and government to agree on future policies for the EU. Political group leaders sent a strong signal to the member states on Parliament's position, also underlining that its approval is needed for any agreement.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg
||SOUNDBITE (French) Joseph DAUL (EPP, FR): "The 16 Member states plus Croatia show us that there is a core of member states that want to move forward. We in the EP will defend our position on the budget; we want to keep the programme for the most vulnerable people as it stands; the idea the reducing it by 400 million euro is totally unacceptable; we won't allow that programme to be touched. Under no circumstances can the help to the poorest of our citizens be sacrificed. We have to be responsible; we have to help the NGOs that are looking after these people."
||SOUNDBITE (French) Joseph DAUL (EPP, FR): "We are at the crossroads; we have the duty to block the way if we are not moving in the right direction and we have to overcome selfish nationalisms in our countries by showing the way for a future Europe".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "Our group in the EP is in favour of saving, but we have the courage to meet our obligations. We are not only demanding, but we also deliver; that's not always very popular at home, but we have this courage. Dear members of the Council, we have also the courage to say 'no' when it comes to an unacceptable compromise. We are ready to make compromises, but not those that we find unacceptable, and the Council must be aware of it".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE): "Let me be very blunt, the whole debate on 'a little bit more or a little bit less than 1% of the European GDP is in my opinion completely ridiculous. First of all, the budget of member states like Germany and France are 8 to 10 times bigger than the European budget. They have increased the last years faster than the European budget. European budgets is 140 billion, you know what the budgets are of all the member states of the EU? 6.300 billion, 6.3 trillion euro is the budget of the member states, compare with the 140; that means 50 times bigger than the European budget. The daily contribution of citizens to the European budget is 67 cents a day, that's less than a cup of coffee, or for Mr Callanan, less than a cup of tea. If we want to make a real European federal union, as we need in the world of tomorrow, the least we can say is that 1% shall be not enough in the future. It's a good starting point now, but it cannot be the end game for the future if we really want to tackle the problems, if we want to overcome the euro crisis, if we want to have a general federal union we shall need more".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Helga TRÜPEL (Greens-EFA, DE): "I think Mr Cameron is just wrong: 'We are making savings in the UK so the EU must make savings too' that's his logic, but we believe in sustainable investment in the future. China, India, Brazil are not going to hang around waiting for us to catch up, we have to defend the interests of our citizens".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin CALLANAN (ECR, UK): "I think that enlargement has been one of Europe's success stories and I think that we have to accept that it will cost more money to support these member states which infrastructure was neglected under their communist past. That's why I believe the cohesion spending for new member states should be maintained, even within an overall freeze or a cut in the MFF. The way to do that is though budgetary reform so that cohesion policy is limited to helping those countries that need it most. I agree with the proposals put forward by our previous socialist government, that the cohesion policies should be repatriated to the richer member states and that money only be used to fund the poorer member states which deserve that spending. I believe that a better budget, not just a bigger budget, is still achievable in the summit this week, I hope that member states with good will, will sit down and agree that we need better EU spending and not just more EU spending".
||Cutaways (3 shots)