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GUE/NGL condemns Commission’s 2014 Budget proposal

The GUE/NGL Group expresses its disappointment that the Commission has put forward a proposal for the EU's 2014 budget based on the 7/8 February Council conclusions, ignoring both its own proposal and the European Parliament's 13 March Resolution on the matter, which was supported by over 500 MEPs.

“It seems as if the negotiation procedure on the MFF will be solely determined by the heads of government of the member states,” commented GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer. “For the first time in the history of the EU the budget put forward by the European Commission will have a real and substantive decrease. Furthermore, it is inadmissible that in the current context of social, economic and financial crisis the proposed reductions are to the programmes which could actually promote growth and jobs!”

GUE/NGL MEP Alda Sousa said: “The GUE/NGL expressed its dissatisfaction last week with the false statements on a supposed 'MFF agreement' from both the Commission and the Irish Presidency, and this week we have been once again let down by the way the Commission is behaving: they are acting as if what the Council adopted in February is set in stone and they are ignoring the European Parliament. This draft budget is an austerity budget and as such we cannot accept it in this form.”

Research and innovation is set to be slashed by 24.4%, the ERASMUS programme will be reduced by 12.7%, rural development programmes will be reduced by 10.8%, health and consumer protection by 13.9%, cohesion will be reduced by 9.3%, development aid by 18.7%, and there is a cut of over 53.5% to the asylum and migration fund.

When it comes to new initiatives that are to help ease the effects of the crisis, the figures are simply ridiculous: for the European Aid for the Most Deprived (FEAD) programme there is only EUR 0.4 billion in commitment appropriations and for the youth unemployment initiative the figure is only EUR 3.6 billion.

GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute commented: “It is regrettable that initiatives such as the Youth Employment Initiative are frontloaded to 2014 and 2015 and afterwards no provisions are foreseen. Such a move implies that the problem of youth unemployment will have been solved by the beginning of 2016, which we know will not be the case.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20