Following the European Commission’s publication today of its reflection paper on the future of EU finances, Joseph Daul, the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), welcomed the initiative and praised the work of European Commissioner Günther Oettinger as a good basis for discussion in the months ahead:

“Any household in Europe knows that you need a clear and stable budget to be prepared for bumps on the road and to secure the future of your children. The European budget is no different. This is why negotiations for the next Multiannual Financial Framework must be finalised before the 2019 European elections. Europe’s citizens and businesses need to be able to plan and prepare for the years to come.

Tomorrow’s Europe will be prepared today. The next European budget must therefore reflect today’s realities and enable us to overcome future challenges. Each euro spent must improve the lives of European citizens — and no single euro can be lost. Our objectives will remain the same, regardless of Brexit. The European budget must focus on security, defence, migration, economic strength, solidarity and sustainability.

Every European citizen must feel safe at home and confident for the future. We need to continue to protect the EU’s external borders and move towards a common EU defence and security policy. Making Europe more competitive should not come at the expense of those who are more vulnerable. We are laying the groundwork now for future decades when it comes to being able to feed everyone, combatting the effects of climate change or training our labour forces for a digital society.

The European budget must be as well designed as possible; but it must also have the capacity to adjust to unforeseen circumstances and to enable full flexibility. The budget must be transparent and must guarantee stability and clarity for European households.”