MEPs want member states to use money unspent from the EU’s 2010 and 2011 budgets to bolster the money available for the EU’s 2012 budget.
The European Parliament’s budgets committee yesterday (15 June) voted to demand that the EU keep up to €4.9 billion in unspent funds from previous EU budgets, rather than returning it to member states, which is the current practice.
The report, drafted by Francesca Balzani, an Italian centre-left MEP, said that the Parliament was determined to make use of all budgetary margins and flexibility measures “to support and strengthen” several policy areas during the budget negotiations.
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Using up unspent money from previous budgetary years is one way to help meet such policy priorities, the report argues.
This runs counter to European Commission plans to give the money back, to help the member states pay their contributions for 2011.
Increase in payments
MEPs on the committee endorsed a report which said that a proposed 4.9% increase in payments from this year for the 2012 EU budget is the “bare minimum” it would accept in negotiations with the Council of Ministers.
The MEPs have already called on member states to agree to make jobs and growth the top spending priorities for next year’s EU budget.
A first informal round of negotiations between MEPs and the Council of Ministers is scheduled for 11 July.