EP backs Oettinger for budget tasks

He didn’t rule out that next MFF could be just five years

Photo: Photo: © European Parliament Commissioner Gunther Oettinger was quizzed by three parliamentary committees on his new portfolio for Budget and Human Resources.

On 12 January the Conference of Presidents, which consists of EP President and group leaders, took note of the letter sent by three parliamentary committees, saying that Commissioner Gunther Oettinger is in a position to assume the portfolio that is transferred to him and look forward to a close working relationship.

On 12 January the Conference of Presidents, which consists of EP President and group leaders, took note of the letter sent by three parliamentary committees, saying that Commissioner Gunther Oettinger is in a position to assume the portfolio that is transferred to him and look forward to a close working relationship. The president of EP will transmit it to the EC President.
Eventhough called exchanges of views, the members of the EP committees of budgets, budgetary control and on legal affairs bluntly grilled on 9 January Commissioner Gunther Oettinger about his new portfolio for budget and human resources. Late last year when Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva announced that she will move to another job, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker has transferred to Oettinger as of 1 January 2017 the new tasks and passed his previous portfolio of digital economy and society to Vice-President Andrus Ansip.
During the two-and-a-half-hour hearing, Commissioner Oettinger maintained unfaltering tone notwithstanding how challenging the questions were. Prior to the meeting he has submitted more than 50 pages of answers to the written queries that MEPs had sent him before the quizzing.
Asked for the next MFF after 2020, he stated that there will be Brexit coming to an end in 2019, and he didn’t rule out that the next programming period can be shortened to five years. There will be proposals made by the end of the year for the next MFF and it is important to discuss these issues together with you, he said. He underlined the importance of expansion of own resources of the EU for the next MFF, mentioning energy tax and improvement of VAT system and assured that he will carefully consider the recommendations of the High-Level Group on Own Resources.  
I can promise you that every euro will be spent efficiently, he asserted stating as well that he is completely independent towards whatever lobby interest.
Although he apologised for his remarks about the Chinese, Walloons, women and gay marriage, made in a speech at a conference in Hamburg last autumn, some MEPs raised concerns that this could be an issue in terms of the HR part of his tasks. In reply to a question, he pledged that the non-discrimination policy concerning LGBTI couples which are staff members of the Commission, will be deepened.

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