“The Council’s position on the EU Draft Budget 2018 is in contradiction to its own political commitments. Member States are proposing indiscriminate, mechanical cuts to the very priorities that they put forward at the beginning of the year. Investments in economic growth, research and infrastructure are reduced by €750 million. These are the main tools that bring real added value to our economies and create jobs”, stated Sigfried Mureşan MEP, general Rapporteur for the EU Budget 2018, commenting on the Council position agreed today.
The Council's position amounts to €158.9 billion in commitments and €144.4 billion in payments, cutting the draft budget presented by the European Commission by €1.7 billion in commitments and €995 million in payments.
“The EU budget needs sufficient funds to fulfil its central role of supporting the delivery of the Union's policies and priorities. This position won’t match EU citizens’ expectations and opposes the political guidelines that the Council itself approved on 21 February. For 2018, the EU budget needs to respect the financing needs of the implementation of ongoing programmes and address new challenges”, commented José Manuel Fernandes MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on the Budgets Committee.
“Currently, many research projects are failing to obtain financing simply because EU funds are not sufficient. And what does the Council do? Further cuts into those lines, thus endangering our investments in the future. This attitude will not be accepted by the European Parliament which remains committed to assuring a meaningful budget for the EU for 2018 which puts at its core jobs and growth on the one hand, and the security of its citizens on the other”, concluded Mureşan.
The Council position will serve as a mandate for the Estonian Presidency to negotiate the 2018 EU budget with the European Parliament.