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Wtorek, 12 września 2017 r. - Strasburg Wersja poprawiona

11. Przedstawienie przez Radę stanowiska w sprawie projektu budżetu ogólnego na rok budżetowy 2018 (debata)
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  Presidente. – La seduta è ripresa. Saluto Commissione e Consiglio.

L'ordine del giorno reca in discussione la presentazione da parte del Consiglio sulla sua posizione sul progetto generale di bilancio dell'Unione europea per l'esercizio 2018 (2017/2720(RSP)).

Ricordo agli onorevoli deputati che per questa discussione non è prevista la procedura "catch the eye" né saranno accettate domande "cartellino blu".


  Märt Kivine, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, it is my honour today to present to this great house of democracy the Council position on the draft budget of the European Union for the financial year 2018, as adopted by the Member States on 4 September this year. Respecting the time allocated to discussion, I will be very concise in my remarks.

First, on behalf of the Council, I wish to emphasise, and be very clear about, the facts. The Council is bringing forward a draft budget that, both in commitments and payments, proposes increases compared to the 2017 budget. In detail, as follows: an increase of EUR 990 million – 0.6% – compared to the 2017 levels for commitment appropriations and, respectively, an increase of EUR 9.9 billion, or 7.39%, for payment appropriations.

Second, the Council attaches great relevance to the fiscal stance of the Union and has therefore moved to increase the contingency margins for next year. We need the EU budget to provide flexibility as much as we need predictability. On this basis, the Council and the Presidency will strive to reach an outcome on next year’s budget that will take the Union forward. The Council seeks to emphasise the expenditure on areas which have the highest European added value and stem from the political priorities of the Union: stimulating growth and jobs, strengthening security and tackling migration. I believe that these priorities are shared by Parliament. At the same time, and respecting the budget process as outlined in the Treaty, the Council sees room for savings and re-sizing of estimates in the initial budget proposed by the Commission without endangering the effective implementation and execution of EU programmes.

Having said this, please allow me to take a quick glimpse inside the draft budget and its guiding principles. Sustaining growth and job creation remains one of the Council’s most important priorities. For 2018 the Council wants to support smart and inclusive growth with EUR 76.5 billion in commitments and EUR 66.4 billion in payments, up by 2.1% and 17.5% respectively compared to the 2017 levels. With regard to subheading 1a – Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs – the Council acknowledges the importance of this policy area, which shows implementation rates.

I would also wish to highlight that the Council proposal suggests growth for the main programmes in subheading 1a as compared to the available benchmark, the 2017 budget. The Council decided to endorse the Commission’s proposal for programmes like COSME, Erasmus+ and nuclear decommissioning. We also retained financing to core areas of Horizon 2020, a research and innovation programme, to the initiatives protecting Union financial interests, the energy projects, to aid economic recovery, the completion of former programmes, and pilot projects and preparatory actions.

The Council also accepted the level of appropriations as proposed by the Commission for new initiatives like WiFi4EU, the European Solidarity Corps, as well as the European Fund for Strategic Investments, including an amount in the reserve for its extension. In some budget lines, however, under subheading 1a, the growth rate has been adjusted downwards, mostly due to the expected realistic absorption capacity and reviewing the scope of administrative expenses. Moving forward, as for subheading 1b – Cohesion Policy, the core instrument of the European Union for creating growth and jobs – the Council maintains the level of commitment appropriations as proposed by the Commission while targeted adjustments are being suggested in payments appropriations.

The second priority for the Council is to ensure a high level of security and grant adequate financing for migration and related external policies. With this in mind, as regards heading 3, Security and Citizenship, the Council accepts the Commission proposal and continues to provide resources for the programmes and agencies related to migration. The Council also supports the Commission’s proposal to mobilise the Flexibility Instrument to cover the priority needs under this heading. Under heading 4, Global Europe, the draft budget largely based on the Commission’s proposal shows a reduction of appropriations compared to 2017 due to last year’s exceptional contribution of EUR 750 million from the EU budget to the facility for refugees in Turkey.

Now allow me to address the issues of headings 2 and 5 in a few words. Under heading 2, Sustainable Growth and Natural Resources, the Council proposes some adjustments mainly affecting the first pillar of the common agricultural policy. The adjustments anticipate the upward revision of agricultural assigned revenues in the forthcoming autumn forecast. Some additional savings were identified under the annual actions of the sustainable fisheries partnership agreements based on past under—implementation.

As regards heading 5, Administration, the Council, after a very attentive scrutiny, set the budget of the relevant institutions at what we deem to be an appropriate level, taking into account the specificities of institutions. The Council carried out targeted savings and increased the standard flat-rate abatement on salaries for most institutions and offices. Moreover, the Council adopted a statement about the efforts made to reach the 5% staff reduction target over the period of 2013 to 2017 by Union institutions and EU bodies. There is still some improvement possible in order to fully achieve the target by all institutions. The Council considers that the level of staff needs to be kept under continuous monitoring to ensure that the savings achieved are consolidated.

I would like to draw to a conclusion by iterating the following points. The moderation of expenditure growth in the 2018 budget, as compared to the 2017 in certain areas that the Council is suggesting, have been put for your consideration after serious scrutiny by the Council. The guiding underlying principles of the prioritisation were: first, limiting budget growth of some programmes in order to increase flexibility through bigger margins under the MFF ceiling, and secondly, seeking savings in the administrative expenditures whilst reflecting the progress of the programmes and their past execution rate. Further, no reductions were applied to the completion lines of the 2007—2013 programming period in order to maintain a successful path for phasing out the backlog of unpaid bills. No reductions were applied to the core activities of humanitarian aid.

Having said this, I am very conscious of the next steps in the budget process. I intend to weigh the forthcoming position that Parliament will adopt with earnest and serious deliberations in exactly the same vein as the Council was serious and deliberative while formulating its position. On those premises and thanking you for hearing out the rationale of the Council position, I hope we can move towards a reasonable and sustained budget for 2018 that will bring maximum benefits for our European citizens.


  Günther Oettinger, Mitglied der Kommission. – Verehrter Herr Präsident, Herr Minister und Damen und Herren Vertreter des Ratsvorsitzes, Damen und Herren Abgeordnete, meine Damen und Herren! 2018 wird in Kenntnis des absehbaren „Brexit“ ein normales Haushaltsjahr bleiben mit 28 Mitgliedern. Nachdem die Kommission vor einigen Monaten ihren Haushaltsentwurf vorgelegt hat, liegen nun – und wir danken dafür – konstruktive Positionen von Parlament und Rat vor, und ich glaube, dass die bestehenden Unterschiede in den Ansätzen zu einem sehr baldigen gemeinsamen Ergebnis gebracht werden können.

In der Struktur des Haushalts haben wir keine Unterschiede. In den Zielen, die wir verfolgen wollen, sind wir ebenfalls gleichermaßen überzeugt: Wachstum und Beschäftigung, für die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Europas möglichst viel zu tun, die Migration auch finanziell zu stemmen und äußere und innere Sicherheit im Interesse unserer Bürgerinnen und Bürger auf hohem Niveau zu organisieren.

Der Kommissionsvorschlag hat bei den Verwaltungsausgaben für Personal und Sachmittel und Investitionen alles getan, um hier Sparsamkeit darzutun. Wir werden und wollen unser 5 %-Einsparziel im Zeitrahmen erbracht haben. Wenn nun die Position des Rates ist, weitere 1,5 % an Kürzungen bei den Ausgaben vorzuschlagen, haben wir gewisse Sorgen, auf die wir eingehen müssen, weil weitere Personalabbaumaßnahmen unsere Dienste und die Leistungsfähigkeit bei der Aufgabenerbringung gefährden würden.

Ich will zu den Kohäsionsprogrammen sagen, dass wir im nächsten Jahr unverändert davon ausgehen, dass die Kohäsionsprogramme und die Beantragung von Mitteln volle Fahrgeschwindigkeit erreicht haben werden. Wir haben Verspätung, wir haben 2014, 2015 längst nicht so viel kofinanziert und damit Investitionen in Infrastruktur ausgelöst, wie es eigentlich möglich und wünschenswert gewesen wäre. Wir wollen aber im nächsten Jahr, wenn die volle Fahrgeschwindigkeit erreicht sein wird, vermeiden, dass wir offene Rechnungen in Brüssel haben und dass wir einen Zahlungsstau bekommen. Deswegen, auch in enger Abstimmung mit den Mitgliedstaaten, sind wir von diesem Mitteleinsatz als Bedarf im nächsten Jahr überzeugt.

Wir freuen uns als Kommission, dass kleinere, aber wichtige Projekte wie WiFi4EU oder die Gründung des Europäischen Solidaritätskorps in dieser Start- und Umsetzungsphase ausreichend finanziert werden und dies vom Rat auch entsprechend mitgetragen wird.

Ich will für heute nur ankündigen, dass wir die Beratungen im Trilog in den nächsten Wochen dazu nutzen wollen, um Sie von unseren Projekten gerade im Bereich Zukunft, im Bereich Forschung, im Bereich Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, im Bereich Innovation zu überzeugen. Mir macht die Kürzung der Mittel für Verpflichtungen bei Horizont 2020 um eine halbe Milliarde Euro Sorge. Rat, Parlament und Kommission haben vor einigen Jahren entschieden: Wir wollen drei Prozent unseres Bruttosozialprodukts in Forschung und Innovation investieren. Wir liegen bei zwei Prozent. Je mehr wir darüber reden, desto weniger erreichen wir das Ziel.

Forschung ist die Grundlage für künftige Wettbewerbsfähigkeit. Wir Europäer müssten eigentlich 150 Milliarden jährlich mehr investieren. Jetzt eine halbe Milliarde zu kürzen, scheint mir in die falsche Richtung zu gehen, zumal wir damit nur Großforschungsvorhaben finanzieren wollen, bei denen ein europäischer Mehrwert nachgewiesen werden kann. Zum Beispiel müssen wir nach den Kürzungen drei von vier Anträgen im Bereich der digitalen Technologie eine Absage erteilen. Damit holen wir gegenüber dem Silicon Valley und dem Pentagon und China nicht auf. Oder Gesundheitsforschungsvorhaben – Krebs, Alzheimer, seltene Krankheiten, personalisierte Medizin. Im Gesundheitsetat zu kürzen, heißt: Wir kommen in der Forschung bei Gesundheit etwas langsamer voran.

In der von mir in meinem früheren Ressort verfolgten Quantentechnologie haben wir eine Flaggschiff-Initiative ergriffen mit wichtigen Instituten, der Industrie und den Mitgliedstaaten. Wenn wir hier den Mittelansatz von 130 Millionen um 32 Millionen kürzen und gleichzeitig sehen, wie Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon und Microsoft Milliarden investieren, senden wir auch hier ein falsches Signal.

Wir kämpfen deswegen nicht um theoretische Mittelansätze, nicht um die generelle Haushaltsdimension. Einsparungen sind notwendig und möglich, aber ich will Sie überzeugen von den Projekten. Und Kürzungen können zur Streichung von Projekten oder zur Verzögerung von Projekten führen. Nehmen wir die Kürzungen bei Connecting Europe, bei Galileo, bei ITER, bei Copernicus: Da kann man die Mittel kürzen, aber dann werden wir eben später fertig. Was wir 2018 nicht investieren, müssen wir 2020, 2021 oder 2022 investieren. Ich glaube, da sollten wir eher die finanziellen Mittel halten oder gar erhöhen, um nicht Ausgaben in die Zukunft zu verlagern und mit diesen Projekten später als die Amerikaner oder Asiaten in die Umsetzung zu gehen. Und dann werden wir uns noch genau die geopolitischen Herausforderungen anschauen müssen – Sicherheit, Migration –, und mit Ihnen – denn Sie sind vor Ort – sachkundig besprechen, ob und wo Kürzungen vertretbar sind und welcher Ansatz realistisch ist.

Alles in allem: Wenn ich mir den nächsten Finanzrahmen anschaue, dann ist es ein Kinderspiel, 2018 zu einem Kompromiss zu kommen. Deswegen könnten wir sogar überlegen, ob wir nicht auf einen Teil der Sitzungen für Oktober und November verzichten. Je schneller, je straffer wir beraten, desto mehr haben wir Zeit, um die nächste Finanzperiode gründlich vorzubereiten, wo es Milliardenlücken gibt. Die sehe ich in diesem Fall für 2018 nicht vorher.

Besten Dank für die hervorragende Arbeit durch den Ratsvorsitz und durch die Berichterstatter des Parlaments.


  Siegfried Mureşan, rapporteur. – Mr President, Commissioner Oettinger, Märt Kivine and Estonian Presidency colleagues, welcome here today to the European Parliament. We are now entering a decisive phase in the procedure to agree on an EU budget for 2018. We have spent the first half of the year agreeing on political priorities, and we have done important work together in agreeing that growth, jobs and the safety and the security of citizens have to be the political priorities of the budget of the Union for next year. These are the right priorities because this is what the citizens of Europe expect the Union to deliver and these are exactly the areas where the Union adds value.

Now, we need to deliver on the promises which we made together in the first half of the year. We are simply not credible in saying that we want a more innovative European Union and at the same time cutting EUR 491 million from innovation and research programmes. We are not credible in saying that we want infrastructure in Europe to be better: energy, digital, highways, railways and at the same time we cut EUR 111 million from the Connecting Europe Facility and EUR 99 million from large infrastructure projects. The total cuts proposed by the Council are EUR 1.7 billion. Let me be very clear: what the Council is proposing here is a budget for a weaker European Union because less investments today means a weaker European economy in the future. The Commissioner has outlined this with examples from the digital area in a very convincing manner.

The European Commission has understood in the very first half of the year that growth, jobs, safety and security have to be our priorities, and they have put together a very meaningful budget. This is why I also support allocating most of the resources that we have for research, for SMEs, for infrastructure projects, standing by the side of farmers, particularly young farmers, and fulfiling our commitments when it comes to the Cohesion and Structural Funds. The low absorption rates in the first year of this financial programing period for the Cohesion and Structural Funds does not mean that the absorption rate will stay low in the years to come. On the contrary, it means that now projects will be at full speed and the money is needed over the next years. There is no worse signal that the Union can give to SMEs, to citizens and to NGOs than not being able to pay its bills.

This is why I am calling on all sides to come together in the upcoming weeks to put forward a meaningful budget for the Union in 2018 – a budget based on investments, supporting research, innovation, SMEs and important projects – to put money in the good projects that apply for EU funds, to stand by the side of our immediate neighbourhood, be it south, be it east, be it the Western Balkans, improve safety and security, and make use of the agencies of the Union which we have and which are there to improve the safety and security of the citizens of Europe.


  Richard Ashworth, rapporteur. – Mr President, in April this year this House agreed to an increase in the Parliament’s annual budget of 2.3%. Bearing in mind the level of inflation, I thought that was a realistic proposition and I recommend it be taken as a benchmark for the other institutions. So, I am happy to report that the majority of the other institutions accept that point, and I am happy to say that they have made similar proposals.

There are three exceptions that I would mention to the House. First, the European Data Protection Supervisor has been tasked with expanding his activities, and of course this would involve an abnormal expenditure on his part in 2018. Secondly, the European Court of Auditors are faced with a large increase in workload, and this too I accept as a legitimate and a reasonable demand. Finally, the European Court of Justice makes a very strong case for increased funding, both because of raised activity levels and increased translation costs, and for addressing some significant security issues. Faced with these extra costs, therefore, it is my judgement that the Council has cut some of the funding levels too far, and I recommend to this House that we reinstate some of those levels. Nevertheless, to keep the overall level of budget expenditure under control, we need to achieve further savings. In part, I propose to meet those additional costs through efficiency gains, and here I am happy to report that the Court of Auditors have gone some way to meeting us in that respect. But in part two we have to exercise budgetary discipline, and in so doing we will have to redistribute some of the funding.

To that end, I propose to freeze the budgets of the Committee of Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee for the year 2018. I am also conscious that the European External Action Service faces significant rising costs – in part due to increased staffing levels, but also partly due to the cost of the strategic communications programme.

Most of this cost should be absorbed by the EEAS from their current budget, but I do accept there may be need for a small upward adjustment when we have the precise figures.

Mr President, I ask this House to bear in mind that, if you agree with me that the figure agreed for this Parliament of 2.3% is a reasonable and responsible increase, and if we are to apply that to the other sections, then there will be tough, difficult decisions to be made. I look forward to discussing my proposals with the shadows in the coming weeks, and I hope for their support.


  Märt Kivine, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, many thanks for your thorough, passionate and deliberative remarks. Let me just comment with a very few words. Commissioner, your case made especially for research is compelling, and I can assure you that the Council has a sympathetic spot in its heart about that. We will take that back to our Council colleagues and we will certainly discuss that going forward in the budget process. It is an excellent point and it is a point to be considered, as you said, thinking about the long-term competitiveness of the continent.

Thank you very much, Mr Rapporteur, dear Siegfried. Your passionate points about the infrastructure, the SMEs, the farmers: we take good note of that. This much I can and will promise, and I will discuss them with our Council colleagues and with you, undoubtedly, soon enough, when we start in-depth discussions about the budget. Mr Ashworth, thanks for your remarks. These are excellent points and as such we will take them fully on board in our considerations going forward and treating the administrative costs of the Council.

Having said that and recognising that we are about to embark on very close and tight trilogues and other negotiation means, let me make a few more remarks just to conclude today’s discussion. Firstly, I wish to thank you on behalf of the Council and myself and my colleagues for your views, and thank you for presenting them so straightforwardly and frankly. Today’s debate, to my mind, highlighted the fact that we do wish to strive for the common goal, to achieve the best budget we can for the European Union and its citizens. As I have said, I fully respect that the European Parliament may have – and probably will have – a different take on the proposed budget for the year 2018. I can assure you that we will work hard with you after you have formally adopted your position. We know that we can count on the Commission and on you, Mr Oettinger, in helping to converge our positions and suggest skilful and balanced compromise solutions.

I wish also to thank Mr Arthuis (even if he is absent), as well as Mr Mureşan and Mr Ashworth, the rapporteurs, for our interaction to date and going forward. Europe as a whole needs a budget which is responsive to citizens’ requests, even if that is a constantly moving target. I am confident that, with the dedication of the European Parliament and the Commission, as well as our own, we will be able to reach an agreement, and a good agreement, in due time.


  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR), γραπτώς. –Ξανά στο ίδιο έργο θεατές, με έναν προϋπολογισμό ο οποίος είναι προϋπολογισμός λιτότητας και βίαιης δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής. Με αυτό τον τρόπο όμως δεν μπορεί να αντιμετωπιστεί ούτε η οικονομική κρίση ούτε η προσφυγική κρίση. Διατίθενται ελάχιστα ποσά για την απασχόληση και την ανάπτυξη τη στιγμή μάλιστα που η Ευρώπη μαστίζεται από στρατιές ανέργων, κυρίως ανέργων που ανήκουν στη νέα γενιά. Βεβαίως πρέπει να επισημάνουμε ότι και τα ποσά που διατίθενται στον τομέα της μετανάστευσης, είναι ψίχουλα, εάν λάβει κανείς υπόψη τα εκατομμύρια προσφύγων και παράνομων μεταναστών που κατακλύζουν την Ευρώπη. Η Ελλάδα έχει δαπανήσει πάνω από 2,5 δισεκατομμύρια ευρώ για την αντιμετώπιση της προσφυγικής κρίσης. Χρειάζονται λοιπόν πολύ περισσότερα ποσά για να αντιμετωπίσουμε τα μεγάλα προβλήματα που έχει σήμερα η Ευρώπη.


  Андрей Новаков (PPE), в писмена форма. – За мен като евродепутат, европейски гражданин и най-вече като българин, бюджетът на ЕС отразява приоритетите на хората. Вече шест десетилетия той е совалката за политическите приоритети на държавите-членки и институциите. 161 млрд. евро не са просто пари, а инвестиция на Европа в собственото й бъдеще. Като представител на Европейския парламент, моята най-голяма отговорност е да защитавам интересите на европейските граждани и българи. Допълнителното финансиране за пътна инфраструктура и научни иновации трябва да са приоритет в бюджета на ЕС за следващата година. Целта е в България да могат да се финансират повече от добрите проекти в тези две направления. Данните сочат, че в страната ни има повече качествени проекти, отколкото Комисията може да финансира. Същевременно в бюджет 2018 ще защитавам сигурността и осведомеността на потребителите, както и европейската култура. Програма „Хоризонт 2020“, Инструментът за свързаност, програма „Креативна Европа“ и програмата за защита на потребителите са най-краткият път до просперитета на гражданите на Съюза. За последните 25 години ЕС се очерта като амбициозен проект и в предстоящите бюджетни преговори трябва да сме също толкова амбициозни. Успех е когато съумеем да излетим, дори и в бурно време. Това важи както в авиацията, така и в изготвянето и изпълнението на бюджета.

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