In the State of the Union, President of the Commission Jose-Manuel Barroso unveiled plans for a fiscal union with greater monitoring of the financial sector. He also reiterated the Commissions commitment to support an FTT. Finally, as the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations intensify, Mr Barroso committed to working with Member States and the Parliament to achieve an ambitious budget.
Discussing the long-term EU budget, Mr Barroso described the proposal as “realistic, yet ambitious, with a European Union budget dedicated to investment, growth and reform.” The Commission, Parliament, and the majority of Member States will defend the Commission’s proposal for a budget to fulfil Europe 2020 and to achieve rural development, to ensure food security, to support regions, researchers, students, unemployed youth and SMEs - it is a budget for social and territorial cohesion.
Joseph Daul, Chairman of the EPP Group called for the conclusion of negotiations by the end of this year: "We have to build a Europe which can face the challenges of the 21st Century. This is why we want the 2014-2020 budget of the Union to be in a plausible, solid and ambitious financial framework. The European budget is not a budget of expenditure, but an investment budget. It is a budget for the future. Let us be serious and ambitious.”
Deputy Minister Mavroyiannis stressed the importance of sending strong and immediate signals that the EU is serious on investment in growth and jobs through a prompt agreement on the new Multiannual Financial Framework, an agreement “which shows that the Union’s resources are being invested for the benefit of its citizens”.
Fairness and equity should also extend to better and fairer taxation systems. Mr Barroso committed the commission to fighting tax fraud and tax evasion, as well as a fair and ambitious Financial Transactions Tax – which will be moved forward with the collaboration of willing Member States. Mr Barroso said the FTT “ would ensure that taxpayers benefit from the financial sector, not just that the financial sector benefits from taxpayers.”
The Greens Green economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold (Germany) stated: "It is scandalous that EU governments are still failing to take action against businesses dodging their tax obligations in the member states in which they operate at a time when EU exchequers are under such pressure.”
In his speech he identifies eight "priority areas":
A deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union
Boosting jobs and growth in the Single Market and a new industrial policy
Ensuring social cohesion through investing in people
Sustainable and efficient resource use
A safe and secure Europe
Europe as a global actor
Investing for the future: agreeing and delivering a forward looking MFF
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***Action for Global Health Press Release***: EU tax on financial transactions must go towards health and development