MEPs Shocked to Learn EC Was on Brink of Shutdown
Members of the European Parliament were alarmed as they learned that they needed to vote EUR 2.7 B in additional EU funding in order to avoid a shutdown.
MEPs approved an additional EU funding of EUR 2.7.B on Tuesday evening during an extraordinary meeting of Parliament's Budgets Committee. The move came after senior officials warned of the threat of chaos and unpaid EU bills.
"Why do we learn only on Monday that the Commission is on the brink of a shutdown?", several MEPs asked Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, according to a European Parliament press release.
Lewandowski in turn blamed a number of countries for "continuous under budgeting". He said "Some of them take a pleasure in always being against and this is really causing the problem we see ourselves confronted with". Asked how bad the situation really is, Lewandowski replied that the Commission had stopped signing new contracts and that even with the additional EUR 2.7 B there would be a shortage in 2013.
Parliament will vote its position on the 2014 budget on Wednesday, but as long as the budgetary shortfalls identified earlier in 2013 are not remedied, this will negatively affect the 2014 budget negotiations and progress on the long-term budget for 2014-2020 (Multi-annual Financial Framework), which still needs to be approved in Parliament.
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