The European Parliament’s plenary has adopted today, by a large majority, the Report on the General Guidelines for the preparation of the 2018 EU Budget, drafted by Siegfried Mureșan (EPP), chief negotiator (general rapporteur) of the European Parliament for the 2018 EU Budget.

Siegfried Mureșan’s motto for the 2018 EU Budget is “A budget for growth, jobs and security” and calls on the Commission to put forward a Draft Budget that will enable the EU to continue generating prosperity and security for its citizens.

“The priorities that I have put forward in the Report are jobs and growth on the one side and security on the other. The EU Budget is an investment budget and we will use it to improve infrastructure, to support research and innovation, to stand by the side of SMEs and entrepreneurs, as they are the main creators of jobs and I believe that these are the areas which bring real added value to our economies. The more competitive we are, the more investments come in and that generates growth and jobs. Programmes such as Horizon 2020, COSME, Connecting Europe Facility or EFSI are crucial in delivering sustainable growth in Europe, must continue and be permanently improved. Moreover, I am firmly convinced that the continuation of the Youth Employment Initiative is a crucial component in tackling youth unemployment efficiently, as this is one of the main concerns at European level, which puts at risk an entire generation of young Europeans. Empowering youth can also be done through initiatives like the ‘18th Birthday Interrail Pass for Europe’. I have introduced this initiative into the priorities for next year’s EU Budget to grant one month free Interrail tickets to all 18-year-old Europeans to discover the EU. This project has the potential to boost European consciousness and identity and to be a concrete response to Euroscepticism”, added centre-right MEP Siegfried Mureșan.

”It is my conviction that we cannot achieve these objectives if citizens and companies don’t feel safe in Europe. That’s why security is one of my priorities and why the internal and external aspects of security must be properly dealt with, through adequate budgetary support. Internally, we should do more to secure our borders, to enhance cooperation between Member States in the field, and tostrengthen the agencies of the Union which have responsibilities in the Justice and home affairs area. Externally, we need to ensure stability in our immediate neighbourhood, both in the East and the South. In the East, we have to do more to counter an increasingly aggressive Russia. Support for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova will be crucial if we want these countries to advance towards the EU and become stable and prosperous democracies. As regards the Southern Neighbourhood, we need to invest more in the countries of origin and transit of refugees and migrants. Statistics have shown that it is cheaper and more effective to help people in their country of origin or transit countries. I call on the Commission to put forward a Draft Budget that will enable the EU to continue generating prosperity and security for its citizens”, concluded Siegfried Mureșan.