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2006-02-14
Question to the Council by Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENE to the Council

Question to the Council by Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENE, MEP
Subject: New financial perspective 2007-2013
EP Plenary session
Strasbourg
,
14 February 2006

QUESTION
In its resolution of 18 January 2006, Parliament clearly underlined that its priorities for the new financial perspective 2007-2013 are prosperity, competitiveness, solidarity, cohesion and security. Cohesion is important not only to the new EU Member States, but to the old ones, i.e. Spain, Portugal, Greece and others. Parliament rejected the Council's conclusions of 15-16 December 2005 and expressed its willingness to enter into constructive negotiations with the Council on the basis of the respective positions provided when the Austrian Presidency is entrusted with a real negotiating mandate. Has the Council agreed upon the mandate? Does the Council share Parliament's position that cohesion should remain a priority during 2007-2013 along with competitiveness, security and prosperity?

ANSWER
Hans Winkler, President-in-Office of the Council:
-Herr Präsident ! Zur Anfrage der Frau Abgeordneten Andrikiene kann ich in diesem Stadium nur sagen, dass der Rat zur Finanziellen Vorausschau 2007-2013 selbstverständlich den Standpunkt vertritt, der auf der Tagung des Europaeischen Rates vom 15./16. Dezember 2005 vereinbart wurde. Der Europäische Rat hat betont, dass das Ziel der Wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Kohäsion für die Laufzeit der nächsten Finanziellen Vorausschau weiterhin im Zentrum der Politik der Europaeischen Union stehen muss.
Dies findet Übrigen seinen Niederschlag darin, dass der Europäische Rat vereinbart hat, mehr als 35 %. der gesamten Haushaltsmittel für den Zeitraum 2007-2013 diesem Politikbereich zu widmen.

 DISCUSSION
Laima Liucija Andrikiene:
The truth is that time is running out, and both budgetary authorities of the European Union - the Council and Parliament - are aware that in order to achieve an agreement in time they have to enter constructive an agreement in time they have to enter into constructive negotiations without delay. When will the Council be ready to enter into constructive negotiations with Parliament? When will the Council have a mandate? When will the Council have a mandate? What are the priorities of the Presidency in the negotiations on the priorities of the Presidency in the negotiations on the new financial perspective?

Hans Winkler, President-in-Office of the Council:
- Let me assure the honourable Member that we are engaged in constructive negotiations. It is in our interests; it is in the interests of the Council as much as it is in the interests of the European Parliament that these negotiations are brought to a fruitful conclusion. In order to be credible, the European Union as a whole must act swiftly and constructively. The Council is prepared to act as swiftly and as constructively as possible. I can assure you that already, at the traditional meeting of the Commission with the members of the Austrian Government on 19 January, it was agreed between the President of the Commission and the President-in-Office of the Council would negotiate as swiftly as possible and that the Council would negotiate as swiftly as possible and in good faith.
According to the agreement between the three institutions, we are hoping for and working towards a conclusion of the negotiations on the interinstitutional agreement in April. I cannot be more precise. However, that is a credible goal which we hope to achieve. I can assure the honourable Member that we are working very hard to achieve that.