“We want to continue the programme that we initiated in 2018 and which has already distributed 15,000 travel passes to young people. Our goal is to give all 18 year-old Europeans the chance to explore different cultures and meet fellow travellers along the way”, stated Monika Hohlmeier MEP, the EPP Group’s negotiator for the 2019 EU budget.
As the European Parliament adopted its position today on next year’s EU budget, for initial negotiations with the Council, known as the 'mandate for trilogue', it gave an important signal to the European youth by approving the EPP Group’s request for the continuation of the Interrail ‘DiscoverEU’ Programme in 2019 and 2020.
“Knowledge is not only about what we learn at school, what we read in books or what we surf on the web. It is what we discover about culture, traditions and each other’s values. It is about our experiences. This is why the EPP Group wants to give young people the opportunity to obtain mobility skills and learn about the history and culture of the EU while making EU-wide friendships”, she said.
The Report adopted today includes additional funding for key programmes such as the Connecting Europe Facility, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. But besides these positive aspects, the EPP Group requested further financial support for successful programmes and an appropriate level of funding for programmes in the area of research and innovation. In addition, despite the increase of COSME, the EPP Group calls for the further strengthening of SMEs due to their vital role within the European economy.
“The EPP Group proposes a budget that promotes employment, territorial cohesion, competitiveness and security”, stated José Manuel Fernandes MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman in the Budgets Committee. “The management of migrants and refugees, as well as security, remain top priorities within the EU and need to have appropriate funding. This particularly concerns agencies in the area of security and migration, such as Europol and Eurojust”, he added.
The 2019 EU budget is the penultimate annual budget of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The draft budget for 2019 proposed by the European Commission in May 2018 amounts to €165.6 billion in commitments and €148.7 billion in payments.