RIGA - The European Union's draft multiannual budget has to be improved to that the European Parliament could pass the improved version in the fall, Roberts Zile (National Alliance, a Latvian member of the European Parliament and vice-president of the European Conservative Reformist Group (ECR), said at the EU parliament's extraordinary plenary session.
At the extraordinary plenary session in Brussels today, MEPs debated the agreement reached by member states' leaders on the bloc's next multiannual budget. In his address to the European Parliament, Zile voiced satisfaction about the agreement, stressing at the same time that it is still imperfect and that contractions continue to exist.
Zile's spokesman Karlis Bumeisters told LETA that the Latvian MEP spoke against cutting EU funding to rural development, research, the digital single market and employment programs.
"It can be said ironically that, as the 27 EU leaders have apparently outperformed each other, it might seem that there are no losers. But when the smoke from fireworks clears, it's time to return to the negotiations with cool heads," Zile said.
Another Latvian MEP Dace Melbarde (National Alliance) agreed, saying that work on the EU's recovery package has just begun.
"It is essential to bear in mind that this is a political agreement, and the work has just begun. The European Parliament will have the final say on the EU budget. Among other things, it is necessary to ensure that culture is properly financed like the Parliament demanded already before the crisis," Melbarde said.
Adding just EUR 100 million to the Creative Europe program is not in line with the position that culture is important, Melbarde said, calling for more money also for scientific research and education.