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Speech on PITTELLA Report - The Annual Policy Strategy (APS), Budget 2006

Laima Andrikiene, MEP

Speech on PITTELLA Report - The Annual Policy Strategy (APS), Budget 2006

EP Plenary Session

Strasbourg, April 12, 2005

As a shadow rapporteur of the EPP-ED group on APS 2006 I would like to thank and congratulate my colleague Giovanni Pittella for an excellent work he has done preparing the documents we are discussing now.

The Annual Policy Strategy presented by the Commission in March, i.e. later than it has been expected by the Parliament, establishes Commission's policy priorities for 2006, identifies the initiatives which will help to achieve them and adopts the budgetary framework so that the priorities receive necessary resources. It is important to note that this is the first APS adopted by the new Commission.

At EU level, year 2006 will be critical with regards to the implementation of the 5 years strategic objectives adopted by the Parliament, including the Lisbon Strategy, the Sustainable Development Strategy and the Social Agenda 2006-2010, and the achievement of the main target of restored growth and jobs in Europe. A review of The Hague Programme, linked to the entry into force of the Constitution, is already foreseen for the second half of 2006. In addition the EU enlargement process will enter into a new phase; the European Neighbourhood Policy will be deepened.

The year 2006 will be critical to prepare for the 2007-2013 financial perspective period and to ensure adequate programming and the new generation of financial instruments to be fully operational on January 1, 2007.

Our priorities for 2006 are the following: prosperity and solidarity, security within the Union, more competitive and cohesive Europe, Europe, which is stronger in the world. Our budgetary strategy, its principles as well as sectoral priorities are clearly identified in the Report and Motion for a Resolution what concerns structural operations, internal policies, agriculture, external actions as well as personnel and administration, pilot projects and preparatory actions.

I thank Mr.Pittella for his cooperation and support his report and motion for a resolution, but with the amendments tabled by the EPP-ED group and in particular an amendment, which calls on the Commission to present a review of the medium-term staff needs by July 31 related to requested 700 new posts to be created by the Commission in 2006 with following increase by 850 posts related to Romania's and Bulgaria's accession to the EU.