During today’s afternoon session of the European Parliament plenary, Cyprus’ Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Ambassador Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, presented the position of the Council of the European Union on the draft general budget for the financial year 2013.
The draft budget of the European Union for the financial year 2013 was adopted by the Council on July 24 and a presentation from the Council for this issue was included in the agenda of the September Plenary Session of the European Parliament, on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. The European Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, Mr. Janusz Lewandowksi also participated in the debate.
The Council's position on the draft budget for 2013 foresees an increase of 1.27% in commitment appropriations and 2.79% in payment appropriations, compared with the 2012 Budget.
A budget responsive to current situation
Intervening on behalf of the Council, the Cypriot Deputy Minister highlighted the important points that underpin the Council’s position: priority to programmes and actions of the EU Budget that will help the Union exit from the current economic crisis, enhancing competitiveness and growth and creating employment opportunities; an increase in the level of payment appropriations significantly above the inflation, since 2013 is the last year of the current Multiannual Financial Framework; taking into account the measures taken by Member States to consolidate their national budgets, with particular emphasis on keeping the administrative expenditure under control, in line with the domestic policy of Member States.
Deputy Minister Mavroyiannis highlighted the fact that the most important increase in the Council's position concerns sustainable growth, with +6.71 % in payment appropriations under 'Sustainable growth' ( Heading 1), which is in line with the 'Europe 2020' Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
“The Council attaches particular importance to the implementation of the various programmes and actions under this Heading, which play a key role in the context of the 'Europe 2020' Strategy and will help deliver sustainable economic recovery,” he affirmed.
A timely agreement on a balanced budget
During his presentation of the Council’s position on the draft budget, Ambassador Mavroyiannis expressed the Council’s readiness to work constructively and in a spirit of compromise with both the Parliament and the Commission, during the next few weeks and months, in order to secure agreement.
“This year's budgetary procedure takes place under extremely difficult circumstances. Let us all work together in a constructive manner in order to succeed in establishing a realistic and balanced budget for 2013. I am confident that we can achieve this if we cooperate closely; the Cyprus Presidency of the Council will do its utmost to reach a positive result,” added the Cypriot Deputy Minister.
Ambassador Mavroyiannis concluded that the presentation of the Council's position on the draft budget for 2013 has allowed the three institutions to better understand each other’s positions and mutual concerns.
“This is the first precondition to be met on our way to reach an agreement on the 2013 budget in the coming months within the deadlines set by the Treaty. I consider that today's discussion was a good starting point on our way ahead,” stated the Deputy Minister.
The Budget Committee of the EP will be adopting its final position on the 2013 Budget in the beginning of October, while the voting at the Plenary is scheduled to take place on the 23rd of October.
The Deputy Minister is also set to intervene in the debate on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) later in the evening.
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