Sassoli: It is time to make agreement on EU budget final

At the EU summit, he warned that Parliament is not prepared to see called into question the results achieved on MFF, Recovery fund

Photo: EP David Sassoli.

Talking on Thursday in the beginning of the last for this year EU summit, EP President David Sassoli recalled that in July, less than five months ago, leaders took “historic decisions”.

Since July, we have worked unceasingly with the German Presidency and the Commission to further improve the terms of the agreement reached, for the benefit of our citizens, he said urging that it is now time to make that agreement final.

He also stressed that the crisis exacerbated by the second wave of the pandemic is worsening and “we do not yet have a recovery plan or an MFF for the coming years” and the 2021 budget on which the Council and Parliament have reached agreement has not yet been formally adopted.

 “We reached a very satisfactory agreement on the package comprising the MFF, the Recovery Fund and new own resources, delivering more money for key EU programmes and a robust rule-of-law mechanism. Parliament is not prepared to see the results we achieved called into question.”

I hope that a solution will be found by tomorrow which will enable us to vote on the MFF and the Rule of Law Regulation next week, he also said. Sassoli warned that the EP will examine in detail the conclusions of the European Council, and “we hope that they will be consistent with the spirit and letter of the compromise reached, in particular on measures to safeguard the rule of law”.

The EP President pointed out that, once all the arguments have been heard and unity has been restored, the Union moves forward with all 27 Member States.

“Since July, the German Presidency has spared no effort to negotiate the texts to be approved now by the Council and Parliament. I should like to thank you personally, Chancellor Merkel, for your commitment, for your determination to find the best solution in the interests of everyone. It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with you.”

On Covid-19, Health Union, and vaccines, the EP President outlined that a business-as-usual approach will not put an end to the pandemic.

“Everyone must play a part in ensuring that we distribute vaccines as widely and affordably as possible, and not just within our own borders. Investing in equitable access to the treatments needed to combat Covid-19 would constitute a clear display of solidarity as we seek to renew our partnership with Africa.”

Turning to the Green Deal and the fight against inequality the President said he is convinced that the Green Deal represents the right path to a sustainable future, and working with international partners is an imperative “if we are all to emerge from this crisis stronger”.

“Like the EU, Japan, Canada, the UK and many others have announced their intention of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. I welcome the pledge made by US President-elect Joe Biden to re-join the Paris Agreement; in this area as well, we can renew our partnership with the USA.”

The decisions we are called upon to take on the Recovery Plan will be the vehicle for the green transformation, the European Green Deal, as well as for the digital transformation, the reduction of inequalities and the fight against poverty, he also specified.


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