The European Budget for 2018 was passed today at the plenary session of Parliament in Brussels. It will deliver over €144 billion in payments to Member States during the year.
Liadh Ní Riada MEP said “The EU budget is imbalanced and does not have its’ priorities right”.
“The Parliament adopted a much more positive and progressive approach to the budget in October and sent this forward for conciliation with the European Council. The end result is that the Council has merely paid lip service to the Parliament’s position and this happens year after year where all of our hard work in putting forward positive proposals is totally ignored.
“The EU priorities are currently growth and job creation, strengthening security and addressing the challenges posed by migration.
“As GUE/NGL budget co-ordinator on the Budgets Committee in Parliament and in line with Sinn Féin and group policy, I will always firmly support measures that will deliver long term, meaningful and sustainable jobs that will grow society and lead to a higher quality of life for people.
“There remain some very positive measures such as €2.3bn for Erasmus +, €350 million for the Youth Employment initiative and of course I welcome these.
“I will not and can not, however, support any moves that hold a narrative of strengthening security in Europe. There are dangerous moves currently underway by the larger Member States in Europe towards building a European army.
“The best way of addressing migration and making peoples’ lives safer and more secure, is by stopping flows of money to arms producers. Europe should have no role in financing the arms industry through trade deals and should immediately introduce arms embargoes with nations that are inducing wars throughout the World, specifically in the Middle East”.
“I will continue to argue and advocate in my role as budget co-ordinator for GUE/NGL that the European Budget should solely concentrate on social infrastructure, social projects and building an equal society.
“This European Budget does not support that vision as with previous budgets. I therefore, along with my party Sinn Féin and group GUE/NGL, could not support it. I will continue to argue for a much different budget in 2019 that will deliver for the ordinary people of Europe.”