Commission ready to help broker budget deal as Parliament rejects Council agreement
As the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday (13 March) to reject the seven-year EU budget deal agreed by Member States in February, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič told MEPs that the European Commission remained ready to help broker a new deal.
Speaking at the end of a debate on the preparations for this week's European Council meeting which was dominated by MEPs' concerns about the ongoing economic crisis, V-P Šefčovič welcomed the commitment from the Irish EU Presidency to begin negotiations with the Parliament on a new agreement on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF).
"The Commission will do its utmost to be helpful and creative and to help find a solution," he said.
Responding to many comments from MEPs criticising the Commission's handling of the current economic crisis, V-P Šefčovič stressed that "we have always said that we believe that growth-friendly consolidation is the best way of achieving a boost in Europe's competitiveness".
"But we have also been flexible – Member States that have made a real effort to implement reforms have always been given more time to meet their goals. But we still need to push Member States: we have a serious implementation gap on growth measures."