“We cannot breach the principle of solidarity. We are concerned that the European Commission’s proposal weakens the main EU solidarity policies. Nobody can explain a 45% cut in the Cohesion Fund for the poorest Member States. Nobody can explain a 25% cut in the Rural Development Fund. We want a cohesive, supportive, competitive and secure EU. What kind of EU does the Council want? The Member States must speak up”, stated the EPP Group Spokesman in the Budgets Committee, José Manuel Fernandes MEP.

The EPP Group strongly believes that the EU must have necessary financial means to meet important challenges and attain its political priorities and objectives over the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the seven-year EU long-term budget.

Despite the additional funding needs for new political priorities and emerging challenges for the Union, the proposed Member State contributions are lower in real terms than the current level. The current MFF is smaller than its predecessor. The increases for several EU programmes are actually significantly lower while the cuts for other programmes are significantly higher than the way they were originally presented by the Commission.

“The next EU long-term budget must reflect a clear and positive vision of the Union’s future and respond to the needs, concerns and expectations of EU citizens”, stated Fernandes, concluding: “We are ready to negotiate with the Council with the aim of building a more ambitious MFF for the benefit of our citizens.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States

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