Multiannual financial framework
Delivered in Plenary - 19 November 2013
As I and many other colleagues have often said in this House, if the European Union seeks to sustain popular support at the next European elections in May, it must respond to complex economic, fiscal and political challenges both carefully and sensitively.
I was very proud, therefore, that the Council managed this year to secure, under the prime minister of my country, David Cameron, the first ever budget cut in the history of the MFF, as it signalled that the EU was serious about reflecting at EU level the economic realities of austerity in so many Member States.
Such a pragmatic move could only be good for the European Union in the longer term and manifests the basic fact that the EU must be held accountable first and foremost to its citizens and taxpayers. We cannot justify spending increases in the Union when national budgets are being slashed. If the MFF can be smaller and better targeted, ultimately, we would all gain. The European Union must be seen to be doing less and to be doing it much better.