Doorstep by Martin SCHULZ, EP President following the vote on the MFF resolution:
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 13/03/2013 First transmission: 13/03/2013
Parliament's mandate to negotiate the EU budget for 2014-2020 with the EU member states' Irish Presidency was approved in a resolution on Wednesday. Parliament rejects the 8 February European Council conclusions in their current form. The resolution - prepared by the group leaders of the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens and GUE/NGL - was adopted by 506 votes to 161, with 23 abstentions. The resolution highlights the growing problem of payment shortfalls, which prevent bills being paid and jeopardize EU programmes. The EU cannot legally run a deficit. The resolution gives Parliament's negotiators a strong mandate to ensure that the MFF is flexible enough to allow available funds to be used optimally. Parliament also calls for a mid-term review of MFF spending, so as to give the newly-elected Parliament and Commission an opportunity to influence the budgets that they will inherit from today's legislators. Furthermore, Parliament makes the case for a system of genuine own resources to fund the EU budget and stresses that all EU expenditure should go through the budget. The informal negotiations should result in a regulation laying down the MFF, for which parliament's consent is required, as well as an inter-institutional agreement between Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Parliament is negotiating the legal bases for the various EU programmes in parallel, but for these, Parliament and the Council decide on the basis of co-decision. If there is no agreement by the start of 2014, the MFF ceilings from 2013, adjusted for inflation, will apply.
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 (English) Martin SCHULZ, EP President: "After the heads of state and government concluded not to accept the most important points of the European parliament in their compromise, it was foreseeable that the EP would refuse the draft proposal".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin SCHULZ, EP President: "The Parliament wants to be taken as a serious partner. We are prepared to negotiate; this is an offer now, from the EP to the Council, to come to compromises and to improve the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The major guidelines of the EP were confirmed; we don't want to see the EU going in the direction of a deficit Union. We want to discuss about more flexibility within this multiannual budget, flexibility between the categories and between the years, and a revision clause. Because the figures the Council adopted are the figures of 2005, 8 years ago. And they should be prolonged to 2020. It is easy to understand that in 2020 nobody will fulfil the duties of the EU with the amount of 2005. Therefore a revision clause is for the EP vital and you saw it in the resolution":
||SOUNDBITE (English) Martin SCHULZ, EP President: "I will present the resolution tomorrow ion the Council and I hope that we will find in the next coming weeks and month a compromise".
||SOUNDBITE (German) Martin SCHULZ, EP President, he explains that the EP doesn't want to see the EU going into a deficit situation, Parliaments wants more flexibility in the budget, and also a revision clause, as it will be impossible to fulfil the EU duties in 2020 with a budget level from 2005.
||SOUNDBITE (French) Martin SCHULZ, EP President: "Now, it is up to the member states to gain the confidence of the Parliament. It is not up the Parliament to win over the member state's will. It used to be like that in the past, but today, the Lisbon Treaty clearly states that the European Parliament must ratify the Multiannual Financial Framework and adopts the annual budget".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Martin SCHULZ, EP President: "Our strategy is: first of all, let's discuss on the political priorities, after, on the payments structure and thirdly, on the money. The Council has proceed the other way round; they have discussed first about money, nothing on the expenditure's structure and finally, the priorities agreed on have been totally different from those proposed by the Parliament. It was just predictable that we find ourselves in this situation. I am sure that a large majority of our citizens do not want to see the EU entering a system that has driven many of the member states to the regrettable situation in which they are now, so, to engage the expenditures and then not having enough money to pay for them. For all this, we want a balanced budget".