Budget ‘should focus on jobs’
Members of the European Parliament’s budgets committee are expected to call for the EU’s 2012 budget to focus on jobs and growth, despite divisions over the extent to which EU spending should be increased.
Francesca Balzani, an Italian centre-left MEP, is to present the committee with a draft mandate for negotiations today (5 May). She has already accused the European Commission of a lack of ambition in its proposal, which envisages a 4.9% increase in spending compared to 2011.
The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) are divided over the proposed increase, with many members calling for restraint amid deep budget cutbacks at national level.
Net budget contributors, including France, Germany and the UK, raised objections to a 4.9% increase at the Council of Ministers on Monday (2 May).