Saturday, November 10, 2012

EU budget in jeopardy as wealthy bloc vetoes budget agreement

Erasmus Program at risk
A blockade minority made up by some of the wealthiest states in the EU has decided to push for de facto cuts also in the EU budget for education, research and infrastructure projects. 

The vetoing minority in the Council is made up by Germany, France, Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Finland - in essence the rich states of the confederation. As the legislative procedure demands that decisions are taken by 55% of the 27 states (i.e. 15 states) representing 65% of the population, the rich bloc can veto because they gather a substantial apportion (50.3%) of EU citizens under their banners. 

This is not necessarily "democratic" because the only directly elected body in EU is the Parliament and this one is pushing, along with the Commission (executive body), for the emergency funds for those key areas. But it is the way the Treaty of Lisbon (was going to be the EU's constitution) establishes. 

Ironically the highly controversial and environmentally most destructive subsidies to the farming and fishing industries, which get circa 40% of the common budget, are not cause of dispute. Instead key investments like the Erasmus program (a pillar of European identity formation as well as a unique opportunity for so many students) are being subject to cuts. 

The dispute is about €9 billion in emergency funding as traditional revenues have been slashed and several education, research and infrastructure projects risk default if this extra funding is not passed. 

I say: take it from the aristocrat "farmers" and the criminal bottom trawlers who deplete the Oceans thanks our taxes. Take it from those who are parasitic and destroy the present and the future, not from those who are the future of Europe.

Sources: Naiz Info[es], BBC, Irish Times.

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