Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Last week some good news spread into the world – the European Parliament negotiators and the representative of the Irish Presidency the Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, reached a compromise about the EU budget. However, it quickly became clear that there is no compromise. Although the leader of the EP negotiating team, Alain Lamassoure, admittedly spoke about achieving the compromise with the Council, the rest of the negotiators rejected the proposed package.

Ireland essentially repeated the same proposal from February in slightly different wording, while discarding the important demands of the European Parliament. Let me remind you that in the March resolution, we demanded total flexibility in spending money in order to maximize the use of the budget that has already been cut. One of our demands was also having a mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework in case the economic situation improved and we could increase the expenses. Finally, we wanted larger investments for programs aimed at combating youth unemployment and enhancing research and innovation. None of these demands has been fully taken into consideration by the Council.

This week, the political group discussions have shown that the so-called “compromise” is not approved by the Parliament. The vision was simple – if the budget was put to a vote during the July plenary session in Strasbourg, it would receive a negative rating, which would mean the collapse of the Council’s proposal.

Then Martin Schulz entered into the action and began personal negotiations on behalf of the Parliament with the Prime Minister of Ireland. What had been the presidency’s stream of words up to this point was now finally grasped into a more specific view. Certainly in four years the unused money will be able to be moved vertically and horizontally, certainly the European Commission will be obligated to review the budgetary framework, and certainly the program for young people will obtain sustainable funding, even after the year 2015. These are small, yet realistic concessions of the Council. Martin Schulz recommended that next week the Parliament should vote in favour of the budget in the decided form.

In this whole situation, the position of the MEPs from Civic Platform (PO) is very distinctive since it is completely ignoring the changes that were fought for by the Parliament. They are not seeing the risk that was associated with the negotiated budget approved by Prime Minister Tusk; that the deficit which was accepted will eventually have to be compensated by those who receive the most money, Poland included. In this case, the 300 billion zlotych would become nothing else than fiction on paper. But, there probably wouldn’t be either Prime Minster Tusk or any of the MEPs from the Civic Platform then. Perhaps this is why such a policy does not bother them at all.

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