By Marta Andreasen MEP
Commission, Parliament and Council have started the race to see who proposes the biggest increase for the 2011 budget. Of course the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty with its External Action Service and other fancies is providing the right excuse for demanding bigger budgets.
As the Lisbon Treaty’s new "budget procedure" aims at getting it passed on the first reading - the proposal is voted only once in plenary - all kinds of conciliation and pre-conciliation meetings are taking place in order to achieve this objective.
I attended a pre-conciliation meeting between the Budget Committee and the "Bureau" (the equivalent to the Board of Directors, on the event the Secretary General of the European Parliament plus two Vice- Presidents) of the European Parliament to discuss their request to increase this institution's budget in 6,5% increase. The increase was meant to cover extra staff for the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, extra allowances for office holders, extra space to fit in all those new hires, extra... extra... extra...
The fact that the European Parliament decides to ask for an increase in its budget in these times of crisis is simply incredible, but it is yet more incredible to hear their arguments...
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