MEPs in Strasbourg will today vote on the EU budget guidelines for 2013. Liberal Democrat MEPs call on Parliament to exercise responsible restraint while ensuring that legal obligations are met and resources are efficiently allocated in a way that will boost economic growth and jobs.
Senior Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice President of the Parliament’s Budget Committee, George Lyon commented ahead of the vote:
“At a time of national austerity and budget cuts, we need to re-double our efforts at an EU level to ensure that the 2013 budget offers maximum value for money and helps to stimulate economic growth across Europe.
“Our ambition should be for a budget freeze in 2013 although that will be an extremely tough target to deliver.
“There are huge pressures building on the budget as a result of rising demand from Member States drawing down money from the EU budget to fund their regional programmes.
“In addition there is a financial carry over from last year’s budget of over 5 billion Euros of claims from Member States that could not be met and that sum will have to be found from this year’s budget.
“Meeting the rising demands from Member States and achieving a budget freeze will be a very difficult circle to square but at this time of austerity we need to try and find a way of achieving that goal.”