European Parliament, Brussels
31 October 2012
Andrey Kovatchev (EPP-GERB), who is the rappoteur on the opinion on MFF of the Committee on Regional development of the European Parliament, stated that the Cypriot proposal to cut last year's budgetary proposal of the European Commission for 2014-20 has not surprised him, as there has been a lot of pressure from the net contributor Member States and the presidency itself announced the reductions a few months previously. "The European Parliament defends the Commission project, as stated by EP's own resolution last week. The European Union functions with almost the same budget now with 27 member states, as it did before with 15 member states" he added.
The cut in the cohesion policy spending limits for still catching up countries, i.e. the so-called capping, which limits the national envelope, is particularly striking. The European Commission proposed last year a 2.5 percent of the GDP of the given country as the limit, and the Cypriot presidency document reduces this to merely 2.36 per cent, leaving open the possibility of further reduction. Lowering the limit expressed as a percentage of GDP means that less funding is accessible to countries with small budgets that have made severe cuts in their public expenditure and have undertaken reforms in the face of the crisis. "You have to distinguish from the EU budget to rescue countries in crisis. EU Budget must remain an instrument of development for growth and competitiveness" Kovatchev said. According to him, any changes in the Commission proposal might mean serious disturbances in the cohesion funding projections, especially in the "new" Member States.
"This hits the countries that have had an economic success, but are still relatively poor like many Central and Eastern European Countries. I therefore propose a tailor made approach for such groups of countries" declared MEP Andrey Kovatchev who is also Head of the Bulgarian EPP delegation in the European Parliament.
AndreyKovatchevMEP, tеl: +32-2-28-45662, +33-3-881-75662
StatulKarabashev, EPP Press service, tel: +32- 474 941 991; +32-2-28-44786; +333 88 1 64260