The EU Council has not yet approved a budget amendment for an increase in the 2010 EU budget, yet a 6.5% increase for the 2011 budget has already been approved by the European Parliament Bureau, writes UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen
"A number of conciliation meetings are taking place but I am wondering how we can be thinking of increases for the future when we do not actually have an agreed budget for the current year," she adds.
Ms Andreasen pointed out that in Strasbourg last week "there was general consensus [among all European institutions] that the Council's discharge would not be granted," adding that this was the Council's way of retaliating to last year's actions by the European Parliament, which had spuriously postponed discharge to the Council (member states) from April to November.
"The funny thing is that the connection between the delay in the approval for the extra budget by the Council and the failure to grant discharge to the Council by the Parliament, was only established last week during a Budget Committee meeting... and the Chairman and the committee were left without knowing how to proceed."
Ms Andreasen called this an 'inter-institutional power game' in which the Parliament has flexed its muscle and the Council is retaliating - with no benefit whatsoever to the taxpayers.
Meanwhile, today at the Berlaymont HQ the Commission adopted the 2011 draft budget, which includes the 6.5% increase.
"This is a despicable measure which totally ignores the deteriorating financial position of many British families," Ms Andreasen said when asked to comment. "So many people are losing their jobs and taking cuts in pay, and all the EU Commission thinks about is increasing the budget for itself at others' expense."
"It is ridiculous that Commissioner Lewandoski is looking to increase payments, when they cannot spend all the money they have already," she added. "His ideas about helping 'youth development' are obviously off the wall. What young people need are available jobs, not endless training courses with no light of a job at the end of the tunnel."
The Commission's press release, entitled "EU draft budget 2011: The future beyond the crisis
", describes the essence of EU central economic planning with ambitious hope: "Boosting economic recovery, investing in Europe's youth and in tomorrow's infrastructures are the priorities of the 2011 draft budget adopted by the Commission on 27 April 2010."
Janusz Lewandowski, the EU Commissioner "for financial programming and budget," is likewise hopeful in the central planners' capabilities:
"The ambition of the draft budget is to continue to promote economic recovery together with the EU Member States, in particular in favour of the most vulnerable, in the current post crisis, while reflecting at budgetary level the new EU comprehensive approach for job creation and growth."
Graph source: http://europa.eu/abc/budget/working/index_en.htm