26 MAY 2011
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - MEPs have called for a five percent increase in the EU's next long-term budget (post 2013), a system of own resources and the abolition of national rebates, setting the European Parliament on a collision course with a coalition of large member states.
Members of the parliament's policy challenges committee agreed the provocative wish-list on Wednesday evening (25 May) after a day of discussions, with cross-party support suggesting the full plenary of MEPs will also give their backing in two weeks time.
In doing so, parliament hopes to lay down a marker for the upcoming long-term budgetary discussions which European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek has identified as the top priority for the rest of his mandate.
The commission is scheduled to publish its first draft of the EU's next long-term budget on 29 June, with the leaders of the UK, France, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands in December calling for future EU spending to remain below inflation.
"All around Europe countries are tightening their belts to deal with their deficits. Europe can not be immune from that," British Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time.
In adopting the report by centre-right MEP Salvador Garriga on Wednesday however, members of the policy challenges committee said a five percent increase in the EU's next long-term budget was the bare minimum.
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