President, Commissioner, I would like to pay tribute to your proposal because your task aimed at squiring the circle. At first sight, you responded to the Council’s expectations, notably by limiting the volume of this budget given the fact the European Development Fund is now included.
Let us hail the clarification of the budget, the emphasis put on research as well as the abolition of rebates, which have to disappear - due to Brexit. However, let us contest its phasing out over five years and the shortfall in the direct payments of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Erasmus+ budgetary allowance that would only be doubled instead of tripled as the Parliament is asking for.
While the recent national elections are giving credit to candidates who are criticising the European Union’s functioning, it is essential to remind that the budget must primarily respond to European citizens’ expectations. In addition to the actions to undertake in favour of the social and territorial cohesion, for employment and training, for youth employability in particular, for economic policies’ coordination, for the strengthening of Eurozone’s governance, it is urgent to assess the efficiency of various sovereign prerogatives exerted at the national level and recognise the urgency of assuming them at the European level from now on. It concerns defence and security, fight against terrorism, digital economy, cyber-attacks, climate protection, fraud and fiscal paradises.
It is in those areas that it is easy to demonstrate what the European Added Value could be. We have to undertake a thrilling task. The Parliament is ready. It will defend the positions it approved on 14 March and reminds that the post-2020 financial framework is inseparable from the creation of new own resources. We are impatiently waiting for the Council’s negotiating mandate and expecting to reach a multiannual financial framework’s project as soon as possible that would give the power Europe needs in order to convince Europeans that the latter is shaping their future and protecting them from the threats implied by globalisation.