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Discussion on New Financial Perspective


Plenary session of the European Parliament
Strasbourg, December 14, 2004

Dr.Laima Andrikiene, MEP (EPP-ED, Lithuania)

Thank you, Mr. President,

Madame Commissioner,

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to raise a few issues from the perspective of a new EU member state.

Firstly, new financial framework should be driven by the political priorities of the enlarged Union and the principle of solidarity among the Member States.

Secondly, own resources ceiling should be established at a level which would ensure a successful integration of the new Member States in the Union and take account of commitments undertaken during the accession negotiations.

Thirdly, it is my clear believe that we, the European Parliament have to support higher allocations for the Lisbon Strategy measures from the Commission's Budget. A clear mechanism, securing a certain share of funds for each Member State, should be designed for funding of this priority. Also I would like to point out that the financing of the implementation of Lisbon Strategy objectives should not be made at the expense of EU Cohesion Policy. The assistance planned for the implementation of Lisbon Strategy objectives should add to, rather than replace, the assistance under Cohesion policy as competitiveness and cohesion are mutually reinforcing.

Fourthly, from the point of view of less developed economies in the EU, the level of financial assistance should be proportional to country's current economic level of development. In any case, the assistance rate per capita should not be higher in the more prosperous Member States than in the less developed ones.

Fifthly, we should also consider that limitation of structural assistance through the capping rule, if it is applied in the next programming period, could in some cases slow down social and economic convergence of the least developed Member States by directing the cohesion policy resources to more developed Member States and regions.

And, last, but not the least point: Commissioner Grybauskaite rightly pointed out that enlarged EU requires more money, it is impossible to overcome challenges of enlarged and still enlarging Europe with less money.

Thank you.