“The EPP Group wants to protect people and businesses from the impact of the crises hitting Europe. Many are still recovering from the economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic and now face soaring energy prices and inflation. While Budget 2023 margins are almost non-existent, we have to use all budgetary tools possible (margins, flexibility, Single Margin Instrument and decommitments) to help compensate for the most severe effects of the crises by investing EU money effectively. When, if not now, in times of war, pandemic, energy crises and the other unforeseen challenges? Extraordinary situations require extraordinary solutions", said Janusz Lewandowski MEP ahead of this evening’s Budgets Committee votes on the draft EU budget for 2023.
In drafting next year’s budget, the EPP Group prioritised energy security, defence, health, food security as well supporting small to medium-sized businesses in particular, and youth.
“The EPP Group has sought to reinforce the EU’s annual budget for 2023 in order to support Member States in delivering relief for households, to protect jobs and strengthen our resilience.
“It is disappointing that the Council would propose cutting €1.6 billion from the 2023 budget - including hundreds of millions from vital programmes such as Horizon Europe, InvestEU and EU4Health. We cannot accept such large cutbacks. In times of war we cannot proceed with the budget as if it were business as usual. We have a responsibility to deliver on priorities that are important for our citizens”, warned Lewandowski, the EPP Group's lead negotiator on Budget 2023.
This year’s budgetary process has further highlighted the urgent need to revise the EU’s long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, according to Lewandowski: “The EU's long-term budget, the MFF, was designed pre-crises and is no longer fit for purpose, limiting what the Union can do to help in emergencies. Therefore, the EPP Group is calling for an urgent revision of the MFF as soon as possible and no later than the first quarter of 2023. At the same time, plans for a second basket of new own resources for the EU budget must be progressed in order to repay debts and fortify future budgets.”
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 176 Members from all EU Member States