To achieve sustainable growth and create jobs in the EU, boosting investment in research, innovation, infrastructure, education and SMEs is key, say MEPs.

Parliament on Wednesday adopted a resolution proposed by 2018 budget rapporteur Siegfried Mureșan  (EPP, RO) with principles to follow during the budget negotiations with Council. The resolution was adopted by 445 votes against 144, with 80 abstentions.

 

In the resolution text, MEPs

 

  • welcome the proposed increase in the budget of Horizon 2020 (research), the Connecting Europe Facility (infrastructure) and Erasmus+ (education);
  • regret however that the importance and urgency of the migration and refugee crisis “is not in line with the significant decreases” for the dedicated funds and programmes;
  • take positive note of the EU initiatives in the field of defence research, which will “contribute to achieving economies of scale in the sector”, but “should be financed by additional funds and should not be detrimental to existing programmes.”

 

Quotes by the rapporteur

 

Siegfried Mureșan  (EPP, RO) said:

 

“On growth and jobs, we want to use the limited resources in the EU budget to strengthen our economy and to make it more competitive, so we want to strengthen innovation, infrastructure, SMEs and the Erasmus programme, because that also supports  labour mobility in Europe – it supports young people.”

 

“The second priority – security, the safety of citizens – is important because there can be no growth and no jobs without safety. If people do not feel safe in Europe, then there is no labour mobility, no investment. To achieve this objective, we wanted to see the agencies of the Union which have responsibility for justice and home affairs strengthened.”

 

“The European Parliament will not accept automatic cuts to all budgetary lines – to all headings of the budget – as the Council has been doing in recent years.”

 

Read the full speech here

 

Next steps

 

Council will soon present its informal position and on 13 July the first three-way talks among the two arms of the budgetary authority (Parliament and Council) and the European Commission take place. Talks resume in September to reach an agreement before the end of the year.

 

Quick facts

 

Parliament adopted its priorities for the 2018 budget on 15 March 2017.