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EU Budget 2006 - EPP-ED priorities - Competitiveness, Lisbon, SMEs, Cohesion

Strasbourg 26 October 2006 

Laima Andrikienė MEP (Lithuania), the EPP-ED shadow rapporteur on the 2006 Commission Budget, speaking at the plenary session in Strasbourg outlined the priorities of the EPP-ED Group for the first reading: "The key principles for the Union's budget in 2006 are the strengthening the Union's cohesion and competitiveness, the support for the small and medium enterprises, as well as other instruments related to the implementation of the Lisbon strategy, the improvement of the security of citizens, the completion of the recent EU enlargement and the strengthening the EU's role as a global partner."

Valdis Dombrovskis MEP (Latvia), the rapporteur for the other institutions budget, highlighted that more efficient and rational use of the European taxpayer's money is necessary. "Spending on European level must be justified by real needs. I propose to decrease the expenditure for the administration of the European Parliament by 20 million Euro. The remaining priority for 2006 will be the final consolidation of the 2004 Enlargement as well as the preparation for the forthcoming enlargement to include Romania and Bulgaria. For example, slow bureaucratic recruitment procedures do not allow full integration of representatives of new member states" stressed Valdis Dombrovskis MEP. The report also focuses on better communication with citizens by reinforcing the visitors' programme of the European Parliament.

Salvador Garriga Polledo MEP (Spain), the EPP-ED Coordinator in the Budgets committee said to the plenary: "Next budgetary year 2006 will be exceptional as there is no financial plan for 2007-2013. Concerning the budget for 2006 I am happy to say that the European Parliament found the necessary resources for the external actions of the Union in order to aid the Asian countries which were hit by Tsunami and to help to reconstruct Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also important that we have found a necessary consensus we need for the negotiations with the Council."

The European Parliament will vote on the budget 2006 in the first reading on Thursday 27 October 2005.

Further information:
Office of Laima Andrikienė MEP: tel.: +33-388-75858
Office of Valdis Dombrovskis MEP: tel.: +33-388-75335
Office of Salvador Garriga Polledo MEP: tel.: +33-388-75303
EPP-ED Press Service, Marek Hannibal, tel.: +32-475753048