SNP Stand Firm On EU Budget Freeze For Coming Year

14 March 2012
SNP MEP Alyn Smith today (Wednesday) voted for an amendment which sought to freeze the EU budget for 2013, but which was overwhelmingly defeated with 111 votes in favour of freezing the budget, and 551 against.

MEPs were voting on budgetary guidelines which reflect the MEPs' wishes and priorities for the EU's forthcoming 2013 budget. The Commission is currently preparing the draft, which will be presented in mid-April. The guidelines were approved with 513 votes in favour, 106 against, and 73 abstentions. This vote is distinct to the ongoing discussions over the longer term budget plans contained in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) proposals for 2014-20.
 
Alyn said:
 
"In the current economic crisis, hard questions must be asked of every penny that we spend. Public money is under pressure and across Europe, governments are having to show restraint so it is absolutely imperative that the EU does the same.
 
"I remain of the opinion that a period of harder analysis of how the EU spends its budget would do no harm at all, not least because a fair few projects already allocated funding are now being cancelled due to domestic match-funding concerns. The EU budget should be as effective as possible and there are some funding lines which certainly have scope for inefficiencies to be sweated out of them.
 
"Longer term, of course, the key issue is that the EU should not be tasked with myriad objectives by the Member States if the Member States are not willing to adequately fund them. The discussions over the MFF are only now starting in earnest. I do agree, however, with the priorities that the Parliament has set out for 2013 - improving employment opportunities for young people and assisting SMEs in these tough times."
 
For more information on the EU budgetary process, please see http://ec.europa.eu/budget/explained/management/deciding/deciding_detail/decide_detail_en.cfm