"This was a very important decision taken by the Parliament, which provides the resources that are so needed in our economies, so we can fund the competitiveness of Europe, provide jobs to our people, and help families that are in need at home but also elsewhere. We are seeing children, women and men devastated by conflict all around the world. We are just before Christmas and I feel proud as a European that we have taken a decision that allows us to stand tall on the values of Europe and the values of solidarity, for those at home and those who need it abroad.
This is a budget of responsibility; it is a tight budget that reflects the tight fiscal conditions in our Member States. It is therefore also a very focused budget, focused on the priorities that we have established in the new Commission. It is directed towards investments in competitiveness, for instance supporting the innovative nature of our businesses. It is also a budget where tight controls on spending will allow us to achieve the best possible results.
This is the first year of the new multiannual financial framework, and we are receiving bills from the previous period at a time when we have to be fiscally responsible and operate with a tighter budget. So it is a very good deal because what we have achieved is the ability to meet some of those bills of the past. We got an increase for 2014 through amending budgets that are funded from fines, in other words without any additional financial burden on our member states. We also have a very focused, well prioritised budget for 2015. It is a platform for continuity and predictability, and a very strong message to the European people that the European institutions work for them."