Daul to Hollande: You choose whether we turn our back on Europe or not
During a debate in the European Parliament with the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, and almost forty eight hours before the beginning of a crucial summit for the future of Europe, where Heads of State and Government will discuss the European long-term budget, the Chairman of the EPP Group, Joseph Daul warned about the consequences of budget cuts: “The current proposal is a political denial. And, I tell you now, we will reject it. These proposals go in the wrong direction: instead of investing in Europe’s future, they lay siege to one of our best tools for growth, the EU budget. A budget of which 94% goes back to the Member States in the form of investment.”
“For the first time in the history of the European Union, the proposals submitted will lead to deficit. Already in 2012 we saw a budget deficit of 16 billion Euros. The result of this: we nearly sacrificed Erasmus and penalised thousands of students! We will not take this path. There are rules. And we will make sure they are respected. Starting with Article 310 of the Treaty, which requires a balanced budget”, said Joseph Daul.
The Chairman of the EPP Group stressed that the long-term EU budget must provide added value in terms of growth-boosting investment. It must also allow for flexibility, so that the EU can better react and channel funds to where it deems appropriate, and should be better financed through own resources: “I know a very good way of avoiding a bad deal: for 3 years we work on the basis of annual budgets. And after that, we see. That is not a problem for us! We should not fear this transition to annual budgets because, the way things stand at the moment, the budget is already 60 billion Euros short. What do we give up for these 60 billion Euros? Erasmus? The European Social Fund? Research programmes?”.
The leader of the largest political Group in the European Parliament warned about the consequences of a double standards approach: “You are faced with a choice between 2 opposing camps. Either you choose the David Cameron option for unravelling the European Union bit-by-bit, or you choose the European Parliament option, for a Union capable of meeting its challenges. You must be honest with French citizens.”