Statement by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, on the plenary resolution on the proposal for MFF 2021 - 2027
Following the approval of the European Parliament resolution on the European Commission's proposal for the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027, President Tajani declared:
“A political Europe that looks to the future needs a clear vision, geared towards providing effective answers for its citizens. The first change is a political budget, with adequate resources that reflect Europeans’ priorities on security, defence, immigration, unemployment and fighting climate change. There is no need for treaty change, just courage and political will.
“This Parliament believes that the Commission proposal with a ceiling on resources of 1.11% of Member States GNI is insufficient. As of 2021, the United Kingdom will no longer contribute. If we want to spend less at the national level and be more effective, we need to create economies of scale and added value at the EU level. To this end, we must invest at least 1.3%.
“This increase must not come from the pockets of our citizens, who are already paying too much, but through new own resources. Web giants, financial transactions of a speculative nature and those who pollute with non-biodegradable plastic, must make a fair contribution. We are concerned that the Commission did not include its recent web tax proposal in the new “own resources” basket.
“Parliament supports the system of own resources proposed by the Commission, with a clear condition: expenditure and revenue must be dealt with in one package. There will be no agreement on the future Multiannual Financial Framework if the system of own resources is not adopted at the same time.
“The Commission's proposal, as underlined by the resolution, is disappointing with regards to two key policies: agriculture and cohesion policy. The EU executive’s proposal does not allocate adequate resources for modern and competitive agriculture and fisheries, capable of attracting young people. Funds to reach territorial and social cohesion objectives are also insufficient. These are fundamental for a Union underpinned by solidarity that leaves no one behind, helping the real economy and reducing youth unemployment. This Parliament requests that we maintain at least the current level of spending in these areas.
“Parliament supports the increase of resources to strengthen European technological and scientific leadership and create the largest research and innovation space in the world. These investments, together with training, are the basis for a competitive industrial policy, capable of seizing the opportunities of the digital revolution. They are also essential to ensure more sustainability and energy security.
“But we have to do even more. Erasmus funds must be tripled to ensure the largest possible number of young people benefit from this extraordinary opportunity. We also call for doubling the funds for SMEs, which are the backbone of our economy.
“We also call for the establishment of a specific budget line for tourism that triggers investment in one of the sectors with the greatest potential for employment. Similarly, we should also increase funds for defense, security, control of external borders, management of migratory flows and the integration of the Western Balkans. If we are to earn the trust of our citizens we have to demonstrate that we can tackle these challenges effectively, becoming a credible global player.
“In particular, to get to the root of the problem of migratory flows, Parliament calls for a Marshall Plan for Africa that attracts much more investment in infrastructure and helps to create a manufacturing base and offer a future to young Africans in their own countries.
“Parliament strongly supports setting up a mechanism to ensure that Member States respect the values established in the Treaties. It is only right to introduce financial penalties for those who do not respect their obligations.
“It is imperative to reach a framework agreement on the size of the budget and general chapters with the current Parliament. This would allow for an operating budget as early as 2021.
“This Parliament will exercise its role as co-legislator to approve a budget that is up to the challenges ahead and the expectations of our citizens.”