The Tánaiste (Irish Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD, met Mr Alain Lamassoure, Chair of the European Parliament’s Budgetary Committee, in Dublin today to discuss the future of the EU’s Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF).
On 7-8 February The European Council invited the Irish Presidency to rapidly take forward discussions with the European Parliament with a view to securing their consent on the MFF.
The Tánaiste said:
"Today I had a very constructive conversation with Mr Lamassoure MEP on how we can work together on the new EU budget for the period 2014-2020."
"As chair of the General Affairs Council, my aim is to work towards securing the support of the Parliament for the MFF as well as agreement on all sectoral funding legislation by the end of the Irish Presidency. This is an ambitious timetable. But we have to move quickly to make sure the EU’s new funding programmes in place by the end of the year."
“I believe the deal reached on the MFF was a good, solid outcome and that the Parliament should look at this very carefully, even though I know it falls shorts of its expectations. It recognises the current financial realities facing member states. At the same time, we are substantially increasing EU spending on competitiveness and research and introducing specific measures to tackle youth unemployment.
“The next step for me in my continuing conversation with Alain and his colleagues in the European Parliament is to see how we can bridge the gap between the outcome at the European Council and Parliament’s expectations. I don’t underestimate the political challenge in that, nor the complexity in the task Alain is facing in trying to bring 754 members of the Parliament with him in this discussion.”