EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs
Next year’s EU budget should focus on young people, say MEPs, in a resolution. Other priorities are growth, security, fighting climate change and migration.
The resolution, which sets out principles for MEPs to follow in 2019 budget negotiations with the Council, was prepared by budget rapporteur Daniele Viotti (S&D, IT) and approved by 399 votes to 146, with 87 abstentions.
This is Parliament’s first response to the EU draft budget for 2019, as presented by the EU Commission on 23 May.
In the text, MEPs:
- say that the EU’s Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) should be further strengthened, noting that youth unemployment is still higher than it was in 2007,
- regret the small size of the increase for the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) and recall that this is a “successful programme which has far more applicants than recipients of funding”,
- welcome proposed increases for Horizon 2020 research programmes, the Connecting Europe Facility (infrastructure investments), Erasmus+ and programmes helping to improve the security of EU citizens. However, they also say the Erasmus+ budget should be “at least doubled”,
- believe that ensuring the security of its citizens and addressing migration and refugee challenges remain the “two top Union priorities in 2019” and deem it crucial to maintain spending in these areas “at a level that is adequate to respond to the needs of the migration and refugee crisis”, and
- demand an increase in climate spending, to enable the EU to meet its “climate mainstreaming” target (at least 20% of the EU budget to be climate-related in 2014-2020).
Parliament adopted its priorities for the 2019 budget on 15 March 2018 (The “general guidelines for the preparation of the 2019 budget”).