An additional €530m should be made available in the European Union’s budget for 2017 in order to help boost development and tackle the causes of the refugee crisis, according to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament.
S&D MEP Jens Geier, the lead negotiator for the Parliament on the 2017 budget, said: “The EU is facing an unprecedented number of different challenges. If we are serious about getting to grips with these then we need a well-funded EU budget. Firstly, we need more money to deal with the largest movement of refugees since the Second World War. We are calling for an extra €530m to help tackle the root causes of the crisis. This includes an extra €300m for humanitarian aid, €60m for the Development Cooperation Instrument and €67.7m to support Palestinian refugees and the UNRWA.”
In turn, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, S&D spokesperson for the budget committee, stressed the need for a budget capable of tackling the many immediate crises that Europe faces but that also helps to boost the EU’s long-term growth prospects.
“This is one area where we were deeply concerned by the original proposal by the Commission. We are calling for the cuts to Horizon 2020, which funds research and innovation, and the Connecting Europe Facility, which funds cross-border infrastructure, to be reversed (an offset of €1.2bn). We are also calling for an increase in funding for programs designed to boost jobs and employment, including an extra €1m for EURES, which links national jobseekers offices.”
All proposed budget amendments submitted to the European Parliament will be put to a vote next month.