S&D Budget Newsletter May/June 2016

1. Editorial




Chers collègues parlementaires,

Je suis heureuse de vous présenter cette lettre d’information sur le Budget de l’Union préparée par le groupe Socialiste & Démocrate du Parlement européen. Centré sur les choix politique liés au budget de l'UE, ce nouvel outil destiné aux parlementaires socialistes et démocrates qu'ils soient membres des Parlements nationaux ou du Parlement européen, a vocation à vous informer de l’actualité budgétaire européenne et de l’activité du groupe au sein de la Commission des budgets (BUDG).


 Pourquoi le budget ? D’abord parce qu'il détermine l’étendue de l’action politique de l’Union, ses ambitions et ses priorités. En ces temps de crises multiples et protéiformes en Europe, nous devons être en capacité d'apprécier la réalité de l'action de l'Union au-delà des déclarations prononcées à la sortie des sommets européens. Les États confient de plus en plus de missions à l'Union, mais avons-nous seulement les moyens de les remplir ?

Ensuite parce que nous, parlementaires nationaux et européens, sommes des partenaires indissociables du budget de l’Union, les premiers votant les dépenses, et les seconds votant les recettes. En vertu de ce lien, il nous apparaît  indispensable  fournir les informations nécessaires et d’établir des échanges réguliers.

A l’occasion de tous les débats budgétaires, nous vous présenterons  les enjeux auxquels nous sommes confrontés, nos prises de positions, les échéances à venir ainsi que les principaux événements organisés par le groupe S&D. Nous nous efforcerons d’être complets et concis, en vous invitant également à nous faire part de vos observations pour que cette lettre soit la plus utile possible. Dès lors n'hésitez pas à nous communiquer également vos propres avis et interventions relatifs à l'Europe dans vos propres débats budgétaires que nous publierons dans la même démarche collaborative.


Sincères salutations,

Isabelle Thomas

Vice-présidente du groupe Socialistes & Démocrates au Parlement européen





Dear Members,


I am pleased to present to you this newsletter on the European Union Budget, which is prepared by the Socialists & Democrats Group of the European Parliament.

Focused on the policy choices related to the EU Budget, this new tool is for S&D Members in both national parliaments and the European Parliament; it is intended to bring you up to date on the European Budget and the activities of the Group within the Committee on budgets (BU


Why the budget? Firstly because it determines the extent of the Union’s political actions, ambitions and priorities. At a time of multiple crises and change in Europe, we must have the capacity to have a realistic appreciation of EU actions beyond the statements made at European summits. Member States entrust increasingly more missions to the Union, but do we really have the means to undertake them?

Secondly because we, as national and European Members, are inseparable partners concerning the EU Budget, the former voting expenses and the latter voting receipts. Given this bond, it is essential to provide the necessary information and exchange this information on a regular basis.

Following every budget debate, the newsletter will be informing you about our challenges, positions, future deadlines as well as the upcoming main events organised by the S&D Group. To this end, we will strive to be comprehensive and concise. In addition, we hereby invite you to send us your comments on this newsletter so that it would be of utmost use. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us to share your opinions and contributions in your own European Budget debates, so that we can publish them in the same collaborative spirit.


Best regards,

Isabelle Thomas


Vice-President of the Group of the European Socialists & Democrats


2. Contribution from MEPs


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

Financing a better Europe, A common asylum and immigration policy for Europe, Migration

 The European Parliament 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.

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


A central issue of this year's budgetary debate will be how to deal with the refugee crisis that Europe is going through since last year. Funding of different instruments to deal with an unprecedented crisis has taken a prominent role in the negotiations of both the Union budget for 2016 and the years to come.

In this sense, the S&D position stands for a clear support to provide the necessary funds from the EU budget, and highlights two fundamental aspects: solidarity and flexibility. On the one hand solidarity, which as a fundamental principle of the EU budget, should also be respected in the treatment of the refugee crisis, to establish a permanent mechanism to ensure the solidarity of Member States in managing asylum applications. On the other, enhanced flexibility regarding Member State's contributions to the budget under the Stability and Growth Pact would facilitate the fulfilment their promises.



Un tema central del debate del presupuesto este año es el relativo a cómo hacer frente a la crisis de refugiados que Europa lleva viviendo desde el año pasado.  La financiación de los diferentes instrumentos para hacer frente a una crisis sin precedente ha adquirido un papel predominante en las negociaciones tanto del presupuesto de la Unión para 2016 como de los años a venir. 

En este sentido, la posición que desde el S&D defendemos es de  claro apoyo a proporcionar los fondos necesarios del presupuesto de la UE, haciendo también hincapié en dos aspectos fundamentales: la solidaridad y la flexibilidad.    Por un lado la solidaridad, que como principio fundamental del presupuesto de la UE, también debe respetarse en el tratamiento de la crisis de refugiados, establecer un mecanismo permanente que garantice la solidaridad de los Estados miembros en la gestión de las demandas de asilo y refugio.   Por otro la flexibilidad en cuanto a las contribuciones al presupuesto de la UE de los Estados miembros en el marco del Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento facilitando así que estos cumplan con sus promesas.


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

During the Strasbourg plenary session in March, the European Parliament outlined its priorities for the 2017 EU budget. As the Parliament's General Rapporteur for next years' budget, I underlined that the EU budget needs to be equipped with the necessary means to tackle the many challenges Europe is facing.

One of our biggest challenges is, no doubt, the refugee crisis. We must ensure that the budget allows us to show solidarity with the countries facing the brunt of the crisis and help those countries easing their situations - not only, but also financially.

Solving the refugee crisis must go hand-in-hand with boosting European growth and competitiveness. The European Union has very successful programmes, like Horizon 2020 and COSME, which need to be strengthened. We need to see greater investment in areas such as education or cross-border infrastructure that will help Europe compete in the 21st century. 

The European Parliament report will feed into the draft budget of the European Commission, which will be presented on 29 June 2016.


 3. Our Project : Capital Visits

The debate on the annual EU budget remains a fierce one on the political level, and the challenges faced during previous annual budgetary procedures point to the necessity of an exchange of views and information with the socialist/social-democrat members of national parliaments. With this in mind, the S&D Group plans having a delegation visit to Lisbon and Copenhagen in 2016, in addition to the completed delegations to Madrid, The Hague, Paris, Berlin and Brussels in 2015, and Tallinn in 2016. These missions are of particular importance in the context of the budgetary crises worsening the current political ones which affect the European Union nowadays.

The S&D Group is seeking to strengthen its relations with socialist/social democrat members of national parliaments, with particular attention given to EU budgetary issues. The purpose is to provide a common understanding within the progressive family on the current challenges faced by the EU Budget and how to tackle them in the medium term. 

Our aim is to launch a regular, intense and open network for discussion between the S&D European parliamentary group and socialist/social democrat members of national parties and national parliaments on EU budgetary issues. It is imperative for all progressive members to strengthen and give structure, more than in the past, to the relationship between our members in the European Parliament and their national counterparts, if we want to have a meaningful impact on European Union policies.


4. Visit to Tallinn - March 2016

Following the Capital Visits project, in March S&D Group VP I. Thomas and S&D BUDG Coordinator E. Gardiazabal Rubial held a working visit in Tallinn, Estonia. During this visit they met with the leader of Estonian sister party SDE, Minister of Health and Labour, Mr J. Ossinovski, Mr Eiki Nestor, Speaker of the Estonian Parliament, as well as with following Members of the Estonian Parliament: Andres Anvelt, Kalvi Kȭva, Ivari Padar. 

The role of this visit was to discuss the main issues that the EU is facing nowadays in terms of the budget, management of own resources, budgetary crisis, the 2014-2020 MFF review and reluctance of Member States to contribute with additional money. In addition VP I. Thomas also raised concerns regarding the investment crisis in Europe, EFSI role, youth unemployment, external instruments and migration.

As a result of the intense consultations and discussions the questions raised were in the matter of: financial transaction tax (FTT), the agricultural crisis, the Cohesion Policy funds and the “two-speed Europe” and the Euro zone budget were also mentioned.

Consequently, there is definitely a strong need of close cooperation between the EP and national parliaments in order to find a solution to the current budgetary crisis.



 5. Key dates



 6. Tweets




 7.  The S&D Budget Family



8. Inside the Budget Committee

« Budget : notre capacité à réagir aux crises déterminera notre avenir commun »