Following the plenary vote today on two resolutions on the upcoming long-term budget and the EU’s own resources, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani declared:
“Our citizens are asking for a more efficient Europe, capable of giving concrete answers on security, migration unemployment and climate change. To do this we need to undertake important changes, starting from the next EU budget, which needs to reflect the priorities of the peoples of Europe.
Today the Parliament took an important step in this direction, marking the need for a larger budget, not by burdening citizens, but by tapping on the resources of those who are not paying taxes at present.
The minimum target should be 1,3% of the EU’s GDP. On the one hand, we should continue to promote social and territorial cohesion, a competitive agriculture, an innovative industry and the fight against youth unemployment. On the other hand, it is imperative that we face the new emergencies through a fund for the development of European defence, more resources for security and border control as well as for the management of migration flows, including a Marshall Plan for Africa.
The time for easy rhetoric is over. We need to explain to citizens that one euro spent at the EU level on research, innovation, security, defence, border control or development in Africa has a much higher multiplier effect than one euro spent at the national level. If every Member State were to set up its own GPS navigational or earth observation system, the final bill would be 20 times what we spent on Galileo or Copernicus. If we had enough Canadair or helicopters for a European civil protection, or enough patrol boats for an EU coast guard, we could face crises and emergencies with a stronger hand and with minor overall cost. The same goes for innovation systems for security and cyber security, not to mention defence, where European synergies, standardisation, economies of scale and joint research would translate into billions of savings. The benefits of programmes like Erasmus, which allows thousands of students to study in other countries, Cosme, which helps SMEs to be more competitive or Horizon 2020, which exploits EU synergies in research and innovation, are there for all to see.
The increase in EU budget should not burden the pockets of taxpayers. In our resolution today, the Parliament is clearly putting its weight behind a system of own resources, where the bill is paid by those who exploit our internal market without paying sufficient taxes: the tax havens, the digital platforms, the speculative financial transactions as well as the importers of goods coming from environmental dumping.”