Brussels, 12 December 2012
This statement was made after the plenary session of the European Parliament adopted the proposal for the 2013 EU budget, one week after the Council approved it.
"I am pleased that the European Union, its citizens, regions, businesses and scientists now have a budget for 2013 as well as an amending budget of 6.1 billion to be able to face the most pressing needs before the end of this year. I would like to thank the Parliament and the Council for their positive approach in the negotiations. Even in times of austerity, if not especially in times of austerity, the EU budget is a tool for investment and hope for European citizens.
However I am concerned that the approved budget will in all likelihood not be sufficient to pay the incoming bills. The adopted budget is €5 billion below what the Commission estimates necessary for 2013, and another €3 billion remain outstanding from amending budget 6 in 2012. This means that the pressure on the 2013 EU budget will be tremendous. There is a serious risk that we will run out of funds early in the course of next year. I am concerned that by systematically cutting the Commission's estimates, the Council transforms the EU annual budget in a budget for 9 to 10 months; last year we ran out of cash to pay all the claims in November, this year was in October and next year I expect this to happen even earlier.
I can only hope that, building on the amending budget agreed this year, both the Council and the Parliament will honour the spirit of the joint statements in which they ask the Commission to initiate any necessary action according to the Treaty and, in particular, to request additional payment appropriations in an amending budget if the appropriations entered in the 2013 budget prove insufficient to cover expenditure".
Please see MEMO/12/975.