Commission proposals to top up the EU's budget for 2013 to cover existing and expected shortfalls will not be enough, warns Giovannia La Via, the MEP in charge of negotiating the 2013 budget on behalf of Parliament. Member states have pre-financed projects, which they should be paid for, but money is running out. The EP insists that all legitimate bills have to be settled. We talked to Mr La Via, an Italian member of the EPP group, about the budgetary difficulties.
Parliament has already stated that the deficits for 2012 and 2013 will need to be adequately covered before it is willing to negotiate the EU's long-term budget for 2014-2020, also known as the multi-annual framework (MFF). Without amendments to this year's budget, there will be a deficit in 2013 and the implementation of the 2014 budget, the first under new the new long-term budget, will be jeopardised. Mr La Via tells us more about it.
The Commission has proposed to amend this year's budget by adding €11.2 billion. Will this be enough to cover outstanding bills for 2012 and the deficits predicted for this year?
My position is to support the Commission proposal but I think, also considering available estimates, that the proposed amount probably won't be sufficient to cover all needs to the end of 2013.
How are the 2013 budget amendments affecting the negotiations for the long-term budget between institutions?
Clearly there's a link between the 2013 budget and MFF negotiations. We want to avoid any shortfall in payments and any roll-over of deficits to next year's budget.
We stated once again our position on the MFF in the resolution voted in the March plenary: Parliament will only conclude the negotiations on the MFF after final adoption of a draft amending budget aimed at covering previous and current shortfalls.
What about the declaration signed last December by Parliament, the Commission and the Council promising to pay outstanding 2012 bills and tackle expected 2013 shortfalls?
The joint declaration is an integral part of the agreement on the budget for 2013. As a sign of mutual trust and loyal cooperation, it must be fully respected and honoured by the three institutions.
Outstanding bills worth €16.2 billion for the EU's cohesion policy to support poorer regions were rolled over to this year's budget and a new shortfall is predicted for this year. Are any of EU programmes or funding schemes in real danger at the moment?
No, at the moment there is no risk for the European programmes, but we should avoid any future problems by providing new resources. In order to properly implement the 2013 budget and cover all payment requests, we should start from the draft amending budget for 2013.
Originally published on 2 May 2013