|Author (Person)||Banks, Martin|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.11, No.34, 29.9.05|
By Martin Banks
The European Parliament will next week fire the opening shots in what is expected to be a bruising battle over the EU budget for 2006.
The assembly's budgets committee holds a marathon meeting in Brussels (4-6 October) to debate and vote on draft proposal for next year's budget, the last under a seven-year expenditure framework.
The committee is expected to come out in support of the European Commission's initial proposals for the budget which are €121.2 billion in commitment appropriations and €112.5bn in payment appropriations.
Compared with the 2005 budget, these amounts represent a 4.1% increase (commitments) and a 5.9% (payments).
But the 2006 draft budget drawn up by the Council of Ministers says these figures should be trimmed to €120.8bn in commitments and €111.4bn in payments.
The proposal drafted by the Commission also recommends that 903 new posts be distributed between the various EU institutions but the Council says there should be 40 fewer posts than in the Commission's proposal.
Italian Socialist MEP Giovanni Pittella, the Parliament's rapporteur on the 2006 budget, said there was a "blatant contradiction" between the figure now being proposed by member states and the EU's aim of becoming more competitive.
He said the Council budget proposals, submitted under the UK presidency, were not matching the rhetoric of UK premier Tony Blair's calls to boost the EU's flagging economy.
"There is an inconsistency between making declarations in favour of growth and employment and cutting budget lines which are essential to achieving such goals," he said.
"Does the presidency really think that everything can be done - rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, intervening in regions hit by the tsunami and engaging in measures to achieve the Millennium [Development] Goals, as well as dozens of other actions, without making more resources available?"
Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaiteá has recently said that the 2006 budget should not be seen as a benchmark for future expenditure. But many will be closely watching the upcoming negotiations over the 2006 budget. In the event that there is no agreement on a budget for 2007-13, the Union will function with provisional yearly budgets which will represent, each month, a twelfth of what was spent in the year before, so the 2006 budget would become the reference figure.
The Parliament's plenary is scheduled to vote on the 2006 budget in first reading on 27 October.
Article anticipates a meeting of the European Parliaments Budgets Committee in Brussels, 4-6 October 2005, to debate and vote on the draft proposal for the EU's 2006 budget, the last under a seven-year expenditure framework. The Committee was expected to come out in support of the European Commission's initial proposals for the budget which were €121.2 billion in commitment appropriations and €112.5bn in payment appropriations. Italian Socialist MEP Giovanni Pittella was the European Parliament's rapporteur on the 2006 budget. The Parliament's plenary was scheduled to vote on the 2006 budget in first reading on 27 October 2005.
|Subject Categories||Economic and Financial Affairs|
|Countries / Regions||Europe|