Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:34:29 AM EST
EU budget runs dry on youth, education and research | EurActiv
The European Commission will present a proposal for a supplementary budget for 2012, probably on 23 October, as EU coffers ran empty for programmes that include priority areas such as education, youth and research.
French MEP Alain Lamassoure (European People’s Party), who chairs the Parliament’s Budget Committee, said money for the European Social Fund ran out since the beginning of October. He said the fund helped millions of Europeans to find jobs or improve their career skills.
Erasmus, known as one of the most successful student exchange programmes in the world, has run out of funds, Lammassoure said, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
Fabrizio Fiorilli, spokesperson to Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, said today (3 October) that the EU executive is not at all surprised by these statements.
When the EU budget for 2012 was adopted in November 2011, Fiorilli said, Lewandowski pointed out that the Parliament and the Council had agreed on a budget much lower than the one proposed by the Commission.
In April, the Commission defended plans to increase the bloc's spending for 2012 by 4.9%, arguing that the proposal struck a balance between austerity and the need to boost growth. The proposed 2012 budget was of €132.7 billion, but the one that was eventually adopted was €129.1 billion.
Education, training, research: aren't these key areas that we've endlessly heard are necessary for "innovationandgrowth"? And isn't Erasmus in fact one of Europe's most successful programmes (if not the only successful) for the development of mobility and a European mindset? Is it worth asking how much longer Europe will go on shooting itself, I was going to say in the foot, but in the head is apter?
Oh, and François Hollande, where are those austerity-offsetting pro-growth measures that you are supposed to have negotiated with Big Bertha?