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Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - Brussels OJ edition

9. Presentation by the Council of the draft general budget – Budget 2009 (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Jutta Haug, rapporteur . (DE) Mr President, Commissioner, President-in-Office of the Council, you just said that we are at the start of the budgetary process. As far as Parliament is concerned, that is not the case. We had begun the budgetary procedure and discussions on the procedure and on our budget for 2009 at the start of the year. We have therefore come a long way already. In particular, moreover, we in Parliament are agreed that neither the Commission’s preliminary draft budget nor the Council’s draft – which, as we know, has pruned back the appropriations for both commitments and payments contained in the Commission’s estimates, is particularly inspiring. We certainly do not regard it as an ambitious budget that satisfies the demands made of us in the European Union in every possible area of political activity.

In particular, Parliament has recurring difficulties with the fact that, for all the constant and ubiquitous talk of wanting to tackle climate change, this intention is insufficiently reflected in the budget. We in Parliament – as you can see from the overwhelming support the chamber gave the negotiating team from the Committee on Budgets in the July vote – will ensure that the fight against climate change can be stepped up in many parts of the budget and that this can be done with European funds. We do not believe that such a wide gap can remain between the appropriations for commitments and those for payments as the 15% proposed by the Commission, which has subsequently been further widened by the Council.

Instead, we shall ensure that we obtain a budget which is more in tune with the principles of budgetary accuracy and clarity. No doubt we shall have the occasional heated discussion this autumn. I am very hopeful, however, that we shall arrive at a satisfactory outcome once we have come to an arrangement with each other on certain matters.

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