Special meeting from the European Council:
- MEPs statements
Première transmission: 23/11/2012
Brussels, Belgium - Council
Fin de production: 23/11/2012
Negotiations seem to be stalled at the European Summit in which European leaders have to decide on the future of the European budget for the next 7 years. Two different views are confronted in this summit: "the friends of cohesion", wanting to increase or at least maintain the EU budget, versus "the friends of better spending", willing to make cuts. The EP calls for maintaining the budgetary framework proposed by the Commission and is not willing to accept a compromise below 1.1% of the European GDP for the EU budget.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the Council, Brussels
||SOUNDBITE (English) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "I am happy that there will not be an outcome because the outcome would be very bad, because the demands, especially from British side and some other countries are so heavy on cutting that many of our good programmes couldn't be financed. And for the EP and for me personally, the expenditure on growth and research and development, on Erasmus programmes... these are the programmes that would be sacrificed if there would be an agreement today".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "We should not speak about numbers and amount of euro to be spent but about programmes and the quality of it".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Hannes SWOBODA (S&D, AT): "The red line is, if we have cuts, severe cuts into the growth element, in innovation, where Europe has to show its capacity, and including severe cuts in development and foreign affairs where we always want to show our muscles but finally we have no money to support, then I would ask my colleagues to vote against this kind of budget, and then I think the Parliament would vote against a European budget which is a very poor compromise".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE): "It's a ridiculous dispute for the moment; we are talking about a few euro billion more, or a few billion euro less, where the total amount of the European budget is 140 billion euro, that is 50 times less of the budget of the member states of the European Union. The member states have an amount of 6.300 billion euro, 6.3 trillion euro, 50 times more than the European budget. What we are talking about? And it is very clear that when it is difficult for the public finances of different countries, the best way to save money on the national level is to pull resources, to pull policies on the European level".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE): "The Parliament shall not accept a budget where the main cuts are being done in those expenditures which are important for the future of Europe. There is a cut of 13 billion euro in research, transport and infrastructure. That's the future of the EU, so I think these leaders don't understand that one of the main origins of the euro crisis is just the lack of a serious budget. The budget of the US is 24% of the American GDP, and that makes the dollar strong. And we have a budget of 1%, well that's one of the reasons for our current problems with our currency".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Helga TRÜPEL (Greens-EFA, DE): "I have to say that I am very disappointed if the Council does not understand why we call for a stronger European budget. It's not an egoistic approach, it's about to be ready to invest in future investments, in ecological products... to make clear that lot of countries of the EU have a chance until 2020. What is the risk at the moment with the budget if it is decreased, there will be consequences very detrimental to the European citizens".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Helga TRÜPEL (Greens-EFA, DE): "Probably there will be no outcome today, or we will have a very bad outcome, what means they decrease the budget by at least 75 billion and then they have a very conservative approach, they take money out of research and Europe connecting facility and education and put it back to cohesion and agriculture. In the very end that means we are bound to finance the old priorities and not the new ones on new competitiveness, but that is what we have to do! So the Parliament is ready to say no when they don't move in the right direction to be future-oriented".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin CALLANAN (ECR, UK): "We still think that the budget is too high, we want to see it reduced further. And more importantly, the budget is still spent on the wrong things. The administration budget it is still far too high and there have been hardly any cuts proposed on that, and we would like to see more money spent on things that actually might promote growth in Europe rather than on farm subsidies and various other parts of the European budget".