At a time when Governments across the EU are reining in their spending, it is only right that the EU institutions think carefully about every euro that they spend to ensure that they get the most from their money. We are currently pushing for a freeze in the 2011 budget and expect salary levels to reflect the current economic conditions.The European Voice reports a great deal of outrage in the
Members of the European Parliament have accused national governments of seeking cuts to the European Union's budget that would undermine attempts to spur economic growth.To a more or less rational person the idea of taking more money away from the potentially productive sectors of society and giving them to the leeches that constitute the eurocracy would contribute to economic growth is insane but these puffed up little muppets (apologies to Kermit, Miss Piggy et al) really do believe it that they are the ones who are essential for that process.
Ambassadors from the member states have agreed a draft budget for 2011 of €126.58 billion, €3.6bn less than the draft budget presented by the European Commission in April. The reductions agreed by the ambassadors would affect most areas of EU spending, but the biggest cuts would be to programmes intended to boost growth and competitiveness. The Council of Ministers wants to cut the allocation for growth by almost €2bn and save €1.075bn on cohesion spending compared to the Commission's proposal. A further €821 million would be cut from spending on support to farmers and the fisheries sector.
Sidonia Jedrzejewska, a Polish centre-right MEP who is preparing the Parliament's position on the 2011 budget, told her colleagues on the budgets committee: “I take these cuts not only as a provocation but as an offence.” She pointed out that the budget lines concerned were supposed to pay for the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims to boost competitiveness and stimulate growth. Jedrzejewska called plans to cut the budget for youth training programmes, which the Parliament has made a priority, “a slap in the face”.The Europe 2020 Strategy was, as this blog mentioned before, the one thing that came out of the last European Council. It is to be the replacement for the Lisbon Strategy that was going to make the European economy [sic] the most modern and most competitive by 2010. And what a success that was.
Seven member states, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, think that the Council has not gone far enough and there should be even further cut-backs. After all, they argue, we all have to introduce austerity measures and, indeed, the Commission is demanding that; it seems somewhat wrong for the EU budget to remain as large and as wasteful as it has been all these years. One might argue, pace certain Polish