EU budget should focus on mitigating effects of pandemic – EP

The EU 2021 budget should focus on mitigating the effects of the pandemic and supporting the recovery, building on the Green Deal and digital transformation, said the European Parliament following the drafting of the budget’s resolution.

Following Thursday’s vote, the EP emphasized that next year’s budget – the first of the 2021-2027 financing period – should “promote fair, inclusive and sustainable growth, high-quality job-creation and its long-term goal of socioeconomic convergence.”

Parliament has set the overall level of the 2021 EU budget at just under €182 billion in commitment appropriations, representing an increase of €15 billion compared to the Commission’s proposal. Out of this additional funds, more than €14 billion should benefit the EU’s 15 flagship programmes, boosting many programmes and projects that will support young people, researchers, health workers, entrepreneurs, and many other citizens.

Other major additions to next year’s budget were voted on in areas such as climate change, energy, digital and transport interconnectivity, SMEs, tourism, security, migration, fundamental rights, and external action. MEPs also aim to achieve a biodiversity spending level of 10% and a climate mainstreaming spending level of 30% for 2021.

Recovery and Resilience Facility: MEPs ready to start negotiations

MEPs gave the green light to the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which they stated as being “the EU’s most important tool to fight the economic and social consequences of the pandemic.”

Earlier this week, members of the budgetary and economic affairs committees adopted their position with a whopping majority, receiving a supportive plenary endorsement of their mandate.

Green Deal: How MEPs wish to channel EU investment to sustainable activities

Parliament sets out its proposals on how to best finance the Green Transition to sustainable, carbon-neutral economic activities in the vote on Friday.  

In a non-binding resolution on the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP) and financing the Green Deal, which passed with 471 votes in favour, 134 against, and 83 abstentions, MEPs stressed that one of the objectives of the SEIP should be to ensure a shift from unsustainable to sustainable economic activities. 

European values must prevail, even in a state of public emergency, MEPs say

In Thursday’s debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, almost all speakers expressed concerns regarding the rights of citizens and vulnerable groups in a number of EU countries where state of emergency measures have been taken. 

On Friday, Parliament adopted a resolution that takes stock of the state of European democratic values in the context of national measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 496 votes to 138 and 49 abstentions. In the resolution, Parliament points out that emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power” and stresses that they must be necessary, proportional and of a temporary nature when they affect democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights.