Budget 2017: European Parliament ready to mobilise all means necessary to address refugee crisis

Development aid must be used to combat the root of the refugee crisis rather than the symptoms, say S&D Euro MPs, European Development Fund, Iris Hoffmann, socio-economic structures,

The European Parliament today backed a report outlining its priorities for the 2017 EU budget, which made clear the Parliament would fight to ensure that Europe has the means necessary to tackle the challenges facing Europe.

S&D MEP Jens Geier, who is responsible for drafting the European Parliament's position on the 2017 EU budget said:

"This report makes very clear that we need to have a strong, progressive budget for 2017 which gives us the tools we need to respond to the multiple challenges we face. Firstly that means resources to effectively tackle the refugee and migration crisis. However, it is obvious that there is a need for a longer-term financing solution, which will have to be addressed in the upcoming interim review and revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). We need to ensure that we have the sufficient resources and flexibility to react to a complicated and rapidly changing situation. We must also ensure that the budget allows us to show solidarity with the countries facing the brunt of the crisis."

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D spokesperson for Parliament's budget committee, said:

"Solving the refugee crisis must go hand-in-hand with boosting European growth and competiveness. This means a budget with the ambition and flexibility to tackle Europe's short and long term challenges. We need to see greater investment in areas such as education or cross-border infrastructure that will help Europe compete in the 21st Century. Far too many young Europeans are still struggling and we need more action at the EU level to address this. We are calling for more funding for the youth employment initiative to ensure that no young European is left behind. We are also calling for full use of the existing flexibility provisions in the budget but recognise that a long term solution will have to be sought in the interim MFF revision."

The European Parliament's report will now feed into the draft budget of the European Commission, which will be presented at the end of May 2016. The interim revision of the MFF will take place by the end of 2016.