Lyon: EU must live within its means

Lib Dem MEP George Lyon, Vice President of the European Parliament Budget Committee, has welcomed a vote by MEPs to approve a major reform to EU staff regulations which will save billions of euros between 2013 and 2020.

Mr Lyon commented:

“This shows that the EU is finally beginning to get its house in order and taking steps to live within its means.” Continue reading

Lyon: Smaller EU budget will focus on jobs and growth

Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon has welcomed the news of a political deal that will give Europe the flexibility to spend a smaller budget better and looks to focus on job creation and growth over the next 7 years.

The EU Commission President confirmed this morning that agreement had been reached between the EU Parliament and Council on the final details of the EU’s 2014-2020 budget.

Mr Lyon, who is vice-President of the Budgets Committee in the European Parliament, commented:

“Since the start of this process, Liberal Democrats in Brussels have fought for a smaller EU budget that can be spent more effectively. As a result of this deal, there will not only be a 3% cut to the EU’s long-term budget, but greater flexibility to focus spending on creating jobs and growth.

“Tackling youth unemployment, helping small businesses and boosting research on innovation will all be prioritised under the new framework, complementing the campaign by Liberal Democrats to create a million more jobs over the coming years. While the fine print still has to be ironed out, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for a deal that will deliver vital EU investment to businesses and communities across the UK.”

Mr Lyon added that it looked like UK universities and research centres are set to be the big winners in the 7-year EU budget after reports of an increase in funding for research and development, but warned of a tough transition to the new programme, with the Commission threatening to initially reduce spending with the promise of larger increases in the future.


Notes to editors:

Under the EU 2014-2020 budget deal, funding for the ‘Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs” heading – which includes research and development funding and capital investment projects – will see an increase of 37% compared to the existing budget. This includes 70.2 billion euros for the Horizon 2020 research programme, of which universities and research institutes in the UK are some of the biggest recipients.

The deal will also see up to 2.54 billion euros frontloaded to 2014 and 2015, where it will be prioritised on projects to tackle youth unemployment, strengthen research and boost SMEs. This will complement efforts by the Liberal Democrats in government to create 1.2 million apprentices and 110,000 work placements for young people out of work since 2010.

Lyon: Breakthrough deal on CAP

George Lyon MEPUK Lib Dem MEP George Lyon has welcomed the deal on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as a big step in the right direction, but stressed that Lib Dem MEPs would have liked to go further in the area of market liberalisation.

Commenting after the breakthrough deal between the European Parliuament and Member States was announced, George Lyon MEP (UK, Lib Dem), who negotiated the CAP reform on behalf of the ALDE Group, commented:

“In the Lyon report adopted by the Parliament back in 2010, I said that sustainability had to be at the heart of the new CAP if we are to address the huge challenges of a doubling of demand for food while at the same time reducing the use of scarce resources. Continue reading

Lyon: EU needs to focus spending on research not bureaucracy

George Lyon MEPUK Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee George Lyon today warned the EU Commission that ‘all spending is not created equal’ after it was confirmed that officials in Brussels plan to slash funding in research and development in 2014, while demanding a hike in administrative spending.

Speaking after the publication of the EU Commission Draft Budget for 2014, Mr Lyon welcomed the overall 5.8% cut to the budget but called on officials to think again on their plans to boost spending on bureaucracy and instead prioritise investment in areas that will support job creation.

Commenting, Mr Lyon said:

“Everyone knows that when it comes to EU spending, all things are not created equal. Liberal Democrats have been clear that the Commission must show restraint and needs to prioritise spending in areas that will help create jobs and boost economic growth. This is something that it seems that the Commission have ignored and there are still big questions over some elements of this draft budget. Continue reading

Lyon: Lib Dem MEPs calls on EU Parliament to scrap planned budget hikes

George Lyon MEPSenior UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon today called on the European Parliament to scrap planned budget increases ahead of the next series of votes on EU spending in 2014.

Mr Lyon, a vice chair of the EU Budget Committee, has tabled amendments that, if implemented, would see the one off costs of funding the European election absorbed within a real-terms budget freeze.

Commenting, Mr Lyon said: Continue reading

Lyon: New test results underline need for EU-wide action on horsemeat scandal

UK Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon has today warned that addressing the horse meat scandal will require an EU-wide solution.

Mr Lyon, a member of the EU Agriculture Committee, was commenting after the EU Commission published the result of testing which found the presence of horse DNA in almost 5% of beef samples taken from across the continent. He said: 

‘What these test results underline clearly is that this is an EU-wide problem that demands an EU-wide solution. Continue reading

LYON: EU Must Justify Spending Increases

George Lyon MEPCommenting on the European Commission request for an additional 11.2billion euros in an amending budget, Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon said:

“It is hard to understand how the Commission can justify this increase in the EU budget, long before bills from Member States are even through the door.

“At this stage the Commission has no definite idea of what the final payment claims will be for EU projects and will not know until later in the autumn what size the bills from Member States to the EU budget are likely to be. Continue reading

Lib Dems want better deal for UK in EU’s long term budget

George Lyon MEPLiberal Democrat MEPs today supported the size of the EU’s multi-annual financial framework deal reached by Member States last month. They also supported moves to renegotiate the shape of the budget to make it more flexible and focused on areas that will bring jobs and growth to the UK, such as investments in R&D, innovation and infrastructure.   

Commenting after the votes, Lib Dem European budget spokesperson George Lyon MEP, said:

“At a time when people all over Europe have to tighten their belts we need to ensure that the EU is working to create jobs and build the stronger economy that we need. Our priority needs to be supporting projects that have real economic benefits in the UK and across the continent, not signing off on massive increases in administration budgets. Continue reading

Lyon: “EU budget deal needs to do more on research and competitiveness”

George Lyon MEPCommenting on the news of a budget deal agreement in Brussels, Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon and Vice President of the Budgets Committee said:

“The news that heads of state have agreed a deal on the EU budget is a sensible and realistic result that reflects the tough economic  times that ordinary people are facing.

The European Parliament’s priorities are quite clear: A realistic budget for jobs and growth, real flexibility to spend a smaller budget more effectively and a guarantee of a mid-term review in 2017 when economic times improve. Continue reading

Lyon: Lib Dems call for reform of European Parliament’s budget

Today the European Parliament voted on the guiding principles for its 2014 admin budget.
Commenting after the votes, senior Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon, Vice-President of the Budget Committee, said:
“When budgets are tight all across the EU, the European Parliament needs to set out realistic plans for future budgets and seizing opportunities to find long-term savings.
Already this year we have made cuts to Member’s travel allowances and have made significant savings in our buildings policy, but more can be done . We need to use the 2014 budget to look at whole-hearted structural reform to find further efficiencies in areas such as translation, interpretation, transport and catering and also to improve the efficiency and quality of MEP’s work. Continue reading