EU finances: Better no agreement than a bad agreement

16 June 2005

EU finances: Better no agreement than a bad agreement

Europe must postpone an agreement over the new multi-annual financial framework until next year, and the coming year should be used to subject European finances to a fundamental review, says SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel. “The rejection of the European Constitution was a clear signal, pointing the way to a different Europe,” he argues. “To this different Europe belongs a different financial foundation.”

On Thursday and Friday at the European Summit of heads of state or government the new multi-annual financial framework for the EU will be discussed. Given that the first new budget under this framework will not come into operation until 1 January 2007, there is no need to come to an immediate agreement this week. The SP is in favour of limiting the EU budget, of a reduction both structural and substantial in the Netherlands' net contribution, for a reform of the structural funds and for a revision of agricultural subsidies.”

Harry van BommelAccording to Mr Van Bommel the Dutch 'no' in the referendum on the European Constitution must be taken seriously. “Europe should perhaps reduce the scope of its ambitions in some policy areas while increasing them in others,” he said. “This would of course influence the budget, so we shouldn't approve a budgetary framework whose aims are along precisely the same lines as those of the rejected European Constitution.”

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