European Parliament Strasbourg

Parliament takes step in the right direction

The European Parliament today voted on the 2017 budget and the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), backing several amendments from the Greens/EFA Group.


Among these are the freezing of 20% of the pot in the EU Commission’s budget from which former EU commissioners are paid a transitional allowance for three years: this money will not be released until the EU Commission submits a new code of conduct.


Greens/EFA Group budget spokesperson Indrek Tarand said:


“The European Parliament has taken some steps in the right direction. The majority of MEPs have asked for more money for programmes such as LIFE, Erasmus, and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. All of these are concrete projects that will benefit EU citizens.


“It is positive that we were able to ensure more money is made available for responding to the major political challenges we face, such as tackling the root causes that force people to flee their countries, and the integration of refugees in EU member states.  But it is clear that the new money is not sufficient. If we really want to fight the root causes of migration, we need to deliver further financial means. The governments of the EU Member States now have a duty to take up the parliament’s demands and make more money available for the EU budget.”


Green transparency spokesperson Benedek Jávor added:


“The decision to partially freeze the remuneration of former commissioners is only right and proper given the recent scandals involving ex-Commissioners Kroes and Barroso. The Commission’s ethics system is in need of urgent reform, yet they continue to insist that everything is fine. Now, the European Parliament is using its powers to effect change – if the Commission wants us to lift this budget reserve, it will have to strengthen its Code of Conduct first.”