EU Finances: budget must increase

Commenting on the European Commission Reflection Paper on the Future of EU finances, Liina Carr of the European Trade Union Confederation said

“The EU budget needs to be redesigned to meet urgent and future challenges, and to increase.”

“This reflection paper that does not reflect the Commission’s often stated wish for a more social Europe. On the contrary, the Commission seems determined to reduce the EU’s spending on social priorities and tackling regional inequality.”

In five scenarios for the future of EU finances, in only one does social spending increase, whereas in only one does spending on competitiveness decrease, and in only one does spending on security and defence decrease.

“The ETUC totally rejects, and is shocked by, the assumption in the reflection paper that social spending does not have a high added-value.”

The ETUC calls for

  • An increased EU budget for the period after 2020 and improved own resources;
  • The strengthening of the economic, social and territorial cohesion – which the Commission envisages reducing in all but one ‘scenario’ for the future of EU finances – including an increase in the European Social Fund (ESF) budget and the continuation of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI);
  • The availability of sufficient support to Member States to deal with migration and refugees;
  • The strengthening of development policies.