Strasbourg, 5 April 2022
- Uncertain economic outlook due to the consequences of invasion of Ukraine
- 2023 EU budget will play an important role in strengthening EU economy
- More funds to address the geopolitical consequences of the crisis
The priorities for 2023’s EU budget, according to MEPs, should be the economic recovery, health, youth and climate action, and dealing with the impact of the invasion of Ukraine.
The resolution adopted by Parliament on Tuesday calls for a “future-oriented budget that matches the Union’s political priorities of ensuring a stronger Health Union, making a success of the green and digital transitions, and fostering a fair, inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery, including increased support for small and medium-sized enterprises.”
With 463 votes to 71 and 97 abstentions, MEPs demand investment for the promotion of the rule of law, EU values and fundamental rights. They also want funding for the creation of greater opportunities for all, and in particular young people, and to ensure the EU is a stronger foreign policy actor.
Boosting the EU economy, health programmes, and supporting the young
MEPs note that despite the encouraging signals of further growth in 2022, “uncertainty in the economic outlook persists, in the light of factors such as supply chain disruption, high energy prices, rising inflation and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine”. The 2023 EU budget will therefore “play an important role in strengthening the Union’s economy.”
The resolution says the COVID-19 crisis has put public health systems “under unprecedented stress and has exacerbated existing challenges”, while also causing “a severe negative impact on young people, their employment prospects, working conditions and mental health”. MEPs welcome the priority given to the EU’s health policy, and they call for additional resources, and a “focus on youth, building on the momentum of the 2022 European Year of Youth with concrete actions and policies”.
Making a success of the green and digital transitions
Implementing the Green Deal and achieving climate neutrality by 2050, as well as the zero pollution ambition will, according to MEPs, “require significant public and private investments to bridge the green transition investment gap and achieve the binding objectives of the Paris Agreement.” The resolution also says “that the cost of inaction would be much higher” and emphasises the need for “ambitious resources to support climate and biodiversity action, and environmental protection”.
Promoting the rule of law, EU values, fundamental rights and their application
To ensure the proper use of EU funds and the protection of the Union’s financial interests, Parliament insists the Rule of Law conditionality mechanism should be applied “immediately and in full”. Concerned about the “significant deterioration of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights (…) in some member states”, MEPs also call for an “ambitious level of resources” for the “Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme” or the “Justice programme”.
Invasion of Ukraine
MEPs condemn “the illegal, unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine” by Russia and urge the EU to “guarantee significant funding to address its geopolitical consequences, including support for welcoming refugees”. The Commission and the member states should “mobilise all available financial means to support Ukraine”, they conclude.
Rapporteur Nicolae Ştefănuță (RENEW, RO): “The war in Ukraine changed the current outlook from the last year of the pandemic to the first year of war. The EU budget is constrained by the seven-year financial framework that sets its limits. This should be reviewed so that we have robust EU programmes. The EU must come up with ambitious financial support to help Member States and countries hosting refugees and to alleviate the consequences of the war on energy, agriculture, economy, and security. This will be my role, to make sure that the EU will support citizens and the Member States that need help the most.”
The Commission is expected to present its proposal for the 2023 budget in June 2022, which will have to be agreed between the Council and the Parliament by the end of this year.
The budget guidelines are the first document produced by Parliament during the annual budget procedure. It sets out the line it expects the Commission to take when drawing up the budget proposal.
Well over 90% of the EU budget goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses.
- Adopted text will be available here (click on 05.04.2022)
- Video of the plenary debate
- EP Think Tank – “Parliament’s guidelines for the 2023 EU budget”
- Procedure file
- Committee on Budgets’ homepage for the 2023 budgetary procedure
The 2023 EU budget should take into account the war in Ukraine, say S&Ds
The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have called for an EU budget for next year that works for economic recovery with strong social elements that benefit the most vulnerable citizens and the small and medium enterprises that are the backbone of the EU economy. The S&D Group also believes the EU budget for next year should take into consideration the human tragedy of the Ukrainian refugees seeking protection in the EU.
Victor Negrescu MEP, S&D negotiator on the guidelines for the EU budget for 2023, said:
“We called for a 2023 European Budget that rises to the challenges created by the recent pandemic and the war in Ukraine, while maintaining funding for our long-standing key priorities and reinforcing the EU’s resilience and common values. We need a common European answer to the energy crisis, rising inflation, the increasing prices for agricultural goods and the economic and social effects of the pandemic and the war. We have to reduce our dependency on Russian natural resources, help the countries on the frontline and provide solutions to the global and humanitarian challenges. It was our political group that pushed for all these issues to be integrated in the European Parliament’s guidelines for the 2023 budget and we expect to see them addressed in next year’s budget. We therefore call on the European Commission and the European Council to rise to the occasion and propose an ambitious budget for 2023.”
Eider Gardiazabal Rubial MEP, S&D spokesperson on budgetary issues, said:
“The Union’s budget for 2023 cannot be business as usual. We have immense challenges in front of us, amplified by the Russian aggression against Ukraine. We therefore need a budget that will allow us to continue supporting Ukraine, provide direly needed humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the war, help neighbouring countries welcoming refugees and fight against the inequalities and poverty increasing within our Union as a result of the sky-high energy prices and high inflation. The war in Ukraine also showcases the absolute urgency of investing in a socially inclusive green and digital transition, to limit our energy dependence on Russia and ensure food security for all. Building a sustainable, resilient and democratic future for our Union and our neighbourhood starts now and the 2023 budget needs to reflect this aspiration.”
The report on the 2023 Budget Guidelines – Section III sets out the main political priorities of the European Parliament for the 2023 EU budget. The members of the European Parliament vote on this report as a political message to the European Commission on what the European Union should focus its budget on next year.
Source – S&D (via e-mail)