The European Parliament says that if EU leaders fail to agree on the next long-term budget, the consequences for citizens could be ‘dire’.
Tomorrow (20 February), the EU Council will hold a summit in Brussels to discuss its next long-term budget. President of the council, Charles Michel, called for the summit to try and reach a common position between EU heads of state to bring a mandate to the Parliament and Commission to begin negotiations.
However, the European Parliament has said that if EU leaders fail to reach a common position on this occasion, the consequences for EU citizens “could be dire”, putting thousands of jobs at stake.
The EU’s next seven-year budget is due to start on 1 January 2021, but the European Parliament says that if a common position on its components cannot be reached in time, it will have “serious consequences”, impacting students, researchers and business leaders, among others.
It is estimated, for example, that as many as 1m students will not be able to partake in Erasmus exchanges in 2021.
A total of 5,000 research jobs in the EU (around 4pc of the region’s total number) would be lost, according to the Parliament, while in the wider economy, 7,000 jobs would be at stake. More than 100,000 EU-funded projects in areas such as efficient energy, healthcare and business support would not be able to start on time, it added.
The outgoing long-term budget
The long-term budget currently in place was implemented six months too late when it first began. For member states, this meant certain aspects could not be properly implemented.
To prevent similar situations arising once again, David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, said that the new proposal will need to be “ambitious”.
“These are not just abstract figures, but have real consequences for the lives of all Europeans,” he said. “A well-funded EU budget is in the interest of all Europeans and all member states.”