Member States must increase their contributions to the EU budget to meet the challenges facing the region, Brexit and increasing inequalities in society and climate change, according to Spanish MEP Jordi Sole, a member of the Greens group in the European Parliament (EP) at a seminar in Brussels.
For the 2021-2027 budget, the European Parliament advocates more revenue, notably by increasing the contribution of the Member States to 1.3 percent of the EU-27 gross national income (excluding the UK), to EUR 1,324.1 billion (calculated at prices of 2018). Instead, the European Commission’s proposal in the spring proposes a slightly lower ceiling of 1.1 percent.
The EP wants to raise funds for youth policies, research, growth and job creation and the fight against climate change. At the same time, the EP considers that the allocation of new resources in the areas of migration, defense and security must not be at the expense of agricultural and cohesion policies.
“The less the money for the EU budget, the less chances for the European project. The figures in the new budget will show if the European project will be politically ambitious,” said Jordi Sole.
He explained that the allocation of 1 percent or 1.08 percent of gross national income by each Member State to the budget allocated to the multiannual financial year covering the period 2021-2027 is insufficient for the current challenges and the Greens send a clear message to the European Commission, asking for 4-5 percent of the National Gross National Income.
French MEP Isabelle Thomas warned, “If we believe in the EU, we need not only regulation but also more money in the budget,” especially with a view to increasing defense contributions and border control.
“The governments of the Member States have to choose: reduce the EU budget or national budgets. The EU now has more powers and has to choose,” the French official said.
Polish PM Jan Olbrycht explained that the European Parliament has proposed that each Member State allocates 1,3 percent of gross national income to the budget allocated to the multi-annual financial exercise because “the real debate is whether we want more or less integration in EU”.
He advocated increased transparency in the European institutions and clearer rules to “achieve what we promise to European citizens”.
The European Commission presented in early May its proposal for the next multiannual financial framework, covering the period 2021-2027, and is taking steps to reach a swifter agreement by European legislators.
Already criticized, this proposal aims at reconciling a more ambitious budget with the new priorities – migration, internal security, defense – despite the EU’s exit from the UK, one of the main contributors. This could translate into very controversial cuts in flagship and historical sectors: the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy in favor of the most modest regions.
The proposal sets a budget of EUR 1.279 billion for 2021-2027, compared to EUR 1.087 billion for 2014-2020 in current prices.