How will the new EU budget affect the transport sector? We have asked three influential members of the European Parliament for their views.
Last week an agreement was reached on the next EU long-term budget as well as on the Corona recovery fund. At this point, we probably all know that this will result in common debt and financial contributions to severely hit countries. But what do this agreement and the next budget mean for the transport sector? We have asked three influential members of the European Parliament for their views.
“Thanks to Angela Merkel's negotiating skills an agreement has been reached and the EU wants to act forcefully against the Corona crisis together. That’s the good news. However, the price of the agreement is high and it has to be paid with a cut in future investments. The European Union is in debt for the first time. In addition, the regular budget was cut in important future areas in favor of the Corona fund. These funds are now lacking in the areas that are important for Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Germany, such as hydrogen technology, digitalization, the maritime economy or in general in research and development, which we urgently need to combat climate change.”
Niclas Herbst is a German MEP from CDU (EPP) and vice-chair of the committee on budgets and a member of the committee on fisheries and the committee on budgetary control.
“I miss the focus on what could build long-term competitiveness. A larger part of the EU’s budget should be allocated to modern and robust infrastructure that can improve our possibilities to trade. I would also like to see a larger future-oriented allocation to research and innovation. The current compromise does not feel modern and offensive enough. It is not unconditional contributions that will build long-term prosperity. Instead, we need to focus on business climate, trade and effective transports. At the same time, the EU is Sweden’s most important international platform. We need deeper cooperation on areas where only the EU can make a difference. Most important is the single market. It is therefore of great importance for Swedish companies and their employees that the economy in the whole of Europe can kickstart.”
Jörgen Warborn is a Swedish MEP from Moderaterna (EPP) and a member of the committee on transport and tourism, the committee on international trade and the committee on budgets.
“First of all, I want to emphasize that we are happy that it was agreed on a deal in the end after all. It did not appear like this for a long time. However, we are really dissatisfied with the content. The deal was bought by the stingy EU member states. This is why within the five pro-European parliamentary parties in the European Parliament, we have prepared a resolution with which we object the current deal. The objection gives us now the mandate to have a say in the shape and the amount of financial contribution of the EU-programmes. The next few months are going to be a tough battle. By means of the resolution, we are also demanding more rights for the European Parliament in regard to the distribution of funds. We – as European Parliament – want to act as a supervisory body. The European Union needs to be more generous again especially regarding supranational solidarity”
“The discussion revolving the rule of law is a dishonorable one for the European Union. The entire founding idea of the EU is under high scrutiny. We are anxiously looking at the basic European values which are at stake.”
Rasmus Andresen is a German MEP from the green party in Germany (group of the greens) and a member of the committee on budgets, the committee on industry, research and energy and the committee on internal market and consumer protection.
The next long-term EU budget should be in operation by 1 January 2021. Before that, both the European Parliament as well as the national parliaments need to approve the proposal from the European Council. The European Parliament has already raised concerns towards the compromise. “Flagship EU programmes for climate protection, digital transition, health, youth, culture, research or border management are at risk of an immediate drop in funding from 2020 to 2021", it says in a press release from the European Parliament from last week when it adopted a resolution with a critical stance. In the resolution, the European Parliament deplores the cuts made to programmes in the proposal for a new long-term budget. The European Parliament also calls for more rights and powers in the legislative process.
The resolution from the European Parliament can be found via this link:
Magnus Ehrenberg on how the budget and recovery fund will impact the transport sector
First of all, it is important that the Member States managed to reach a compromise. The transport sector in Europe will need support as well as clarity to recover from the crisis. One important part of the proposal from the European Council is the invitation to the Commission to put forward a proposal to include the maritime sector in the Emission Trading System (ETS). We knew that this was coming. The maritime sector will need to take its part in reducing climate change. Now we need to know from the Commission how this new legislation will take form.
As the MEPs highlight in this newsletter, it is regrettable that the proposal lacks a focus on the transport and maritime sector. The transport sector plays a key role in the recovery from the ongoing crisis but also in reducing climate change and implementing the EU’s green deal.
The total envelope for implementing the Connecting Europe Facility for the period 2021-2027 will be EUR 28 396 million, in the proposal from the Council. Out of this amount, EUR 21 384 million will be distributed to the transport sector.
The results of the talks between the Council and the European Parliament will be interesting and important. It is essential not to forget that the Parliament together with the Council is the budgetary authority. As the European Parliament can reject the proposal, the Council will need to make adjustments. This underlines the importance of keeping close contact with MEPs during the coming months. We will of course closely monitor the next steps in this process.