Renew Europe welcomes the Commission's draft EU budget for 2022, but insists on defending EU money from fraud
2022 will be a pivotal year for Europe, which should mark the end of the pandemic crisis but also pose a considerable economic challenge, as the recovery remains fragile after 18 months of slow activity. This is why Renew Europe is pleased with the unprecedented financial effort that the 2022 budget combined with the NextGenerationEU recovery plan will make to return to strong growth and to restore the confidence of our fellow citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises, a primary condition for a strong economic recovery. According to Renew Europe, however, confidence also depends on the prohibition of any European subsidy to Member States that do not respect the rule of law, by stepping up the fight against fraud in the European budget and by an adequate allocation for the proper functioning of the new European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO).
Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ (Uniunea Salvați România, Romania), Renew Europe shadow rapporteur in the Parliamentary Budgets Committee (BUDG) for the EU general budget 2022, said: “The European economic recovery only works if it goes hand in hand with defending the European budget against fraud and corruption. This has to be the cleanest budget ever. No mishandling of funds can be allowed. In this regard, I count on the EPPO. The EU budget 2022 needs to provide the means to the EPPO to tackle this task. In addition, the 2022 budget must reflect the lessons from the pandemic. Our citizens are waiting for every Member State to achieve a European minimum standard of health. That is why we demand a solid European budget for health. Strengthening the Schengen area and preparing it for its completion by bolstering the budget for all the relevant agencies is essential.”
During the negotiations that are now opening with the Council, Renew Europe will firmly defend its political priorities in favour of health, green and digital transition, Erasmus +, SMEs and research.
Olivier CHASTEL (Mouvement Réformateur, Belgium), shadow rapporteur for Renew Europe within BUDG for the other sections of the 2022 budget, added: “The budget is more than numbers, it is political choices. These are not expenditures but investments in projects and programs serving citizens. These investments serve a greener, more social and fairer Europe that is concerned with sustainable economic development. It is only by preserving workers, protecting the most vulnerable among us and promoting the creation of sustainable jobs that we will honour our obligations, strengthen citizens' confidence in the European project and realize the values of solidarity and responsibility. We cannot build promising policies for the future without operational, efficient, modern, environmentally friendly and interactive institutions capable of functioning even in the event of a crisis or force majeure."