Liberal Democrat MEPs today warned officials that action must be taken to reduce waste in the EU interpretation budget after it was revealed that almost 12% of the budget last year was spent on services not used on account of late requests or cancellations
While welcoming the news that 10 million euros of savings were made in 2012, Liberal Democrat MEP GeorgeLyonsaid that more efforts were needed to reduce the European Parliament’s administrative budget.
The Scottish MEP, who is Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee, commented:
“Lib Dem MEPs have been clear that we want to see EU spending focused on boosting jobs and growth, not on red tape and bureaucracy. We have repeatedly called for a leaner EU administrative budget, and the 10 million euro reduction in interpretation costs delivered last year is a sign that that our demands are being listened too.”
“But it is shocking that 12% of the interpretation budget was wasted due to cancelled meetings. The European Parliament administration now needs to get its act together and put in place penalties to reduce the number of late cancellations.”
Mr Lyon has also called for significant savings to be made to the EU’s 2014 budget, including an €18.5 million reduction in the European Parliament’s administrative budget.
“Although the economic outlook is starting to improve, this is still a time of belt-tightening acrossEuropeand the EU needs to take its fair share of cuts. That is why Liberal Democrats are calling for a real-terms freeze in next year’s EU budget, by trimming admin costs and making sure spending is geared towards sustaining economic growth.”
Notes to editors
-Liberal Democrat MEPs voted in favour today of a report calling for a more cost-efficient interpretation services in the European Parliament.
-In the past Liberal Democrat MEPs have consistently called for a smaller and more growth-oriented EU budget.
-In 2012, €5.48 million (11.9 % of the interpretation budget) was spent on interpretation services not used on account of late requests or cancellations
-On September 2nd, the European Council presented its position on the EU’s 2014 budget. Negotiations are now underway with the European Parliament, which is due to adopt its position in the week starting 21st October.
-George Lyon MEP and other Lib Dem MEPs have submitted amendments calling for significant savings to the 2014 budget, including a €18.5 million to the European Parliament’s administrative budget.