European parliament won’t swallow “bitter pill”

european parliament won't swallow 'bitter pill'

The european parliament has halted the european budget package agreed at the eu summit for the time being. The goal is to get more money out for climate protection, research, health and students, the parliament declared today in a resolution adopted by a large majority.

"We are not prepared to swallow this bitter pill at the moment," said the leader of the european people’s party, manfred weber (CSU). Similar is the view of the other rough factions. They also demand a clear rule that EU money can be cut in the future in the event of violations of the rule of law.

The heads of state and government of the 27 member states agreed on tuesday on a corona crisis program of 750 billion euros and a seven-year eu budget of 1 billion euros.074 billion euros agreed. The budget needs the approval of the EU parliament, which now wants to push through changes in a conciliation procedure. The decision will probably be made in september.

All 27 EU member states must also ratify the financing basis – the so-called own resources decision. In germany, the bundestag must approve it. The budget 2021 to 2027 is then to 1. January come into force. The first money from the 750-billion package is also expected to be received in the course of 2021.

In an analysis, the european parliament declared that the agreement at the summit had been bought with expensive gifts. To secure the agreement of certain countries, EU council president charles michel made a "series of last-minute concessions" – for example, higher discounts for countries such as austria and denmark and additional special payments. He also said that the so-called cohesion funds had been increased by 6.6 billion euros compared to the previous plans, and agricultural aid by 3.2 billion euros.

Michel and commission president ursula von der leyen defended the results in parliament. "We have delivered," says the belgian council president. He reiterated the historic dimension of the 1.8-billion-euro package and the novelty of the EU taking on debt together.

Von der leyen said many billions went into modernizing the economy and thus, for example, into the expansion of the 5G mobile network or into better dammed houses. However, she also regretted the cuts in the budget compared to her original draft – especially in the horizon research program, in health, in the investeu investment plan and in the money for international cooperation. "This narrow multi-year financial framework is a bitter pill to swallow," said von der leyen.

This was taken up not only by weber, but also by a number of other speakers in the debate. "We will not swallow this bitter pill that you mentioned today, which has been served up to us," said tiemo wolken, an SPD member of parliament.

In the resolution negotiated by all the major groups, the additional demands were formulated: more spending on research, health, the erasmus student program and the "fund for a just change" towards a climate-friendly economy – plus a stronger rule-of-law mechanism with which states such as hungary or poland could have their subsidies from brussel cut off in the event of restrictions on justice, the media or democracy. A solid guarantee is a prerequisite for approval of the budget, said liberal group leader dacian ciolos.

Speakers from the major political groups praised the 27 EU member states for reaching an agreement at all despite a long dispute. They also discussed the corona stimulus program and financing through joint debt. Left-wing faction leader martin schirdewan, however, said: "it won’t surprise you that I can’t enthusiastically join in their praise."

The corona package is too small and the counter-financing of the debt is too weak. So far, only the levy on plastic waste is foreseeable as a new european revenue stream. The delegates demanded a clear timetable for the introduction of other new sources of funding. Talk of a digital tax, an expansion of emissions trading and climate taxes on imported goods that have not been produced in an environmentally friendly manner abroad.