On 5 February, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, met with Jean Arthuis, Chair of the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Budgets, and Isabelle Thomas, a Member of Parliament, co-author of the European Parliament’s report on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for the next period. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica informed the MEPs about Latvia’s interests and priorities concerning the post-2020 MFF.
In a conversation with the EP rapporteur Isabelle Thomas, the Parliamentary Secretary emphasised that, from Latvia’s perspective, funding for the cohesion policy and the common agricultural policy (CAP) should be kept at the current level, without any reductions. In addition, the EU’s multiannual budget should be able to finance priorities such as security, the protection of the EU’s external borders, and programmes aimed at increasing competitiveness, namely, supporting projects in research and development, youth affairs, transport and energy, said Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica.
In a meeting with Jean Arthuis, Chair of the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Budgets, the Parliamentary Secretary underlined that the total amount of the multiannual budget should not be reduced in order to ensure appropriate funding for EU priorities and needs. The officials agreed that it was vital to follow an effective and easy-to-manage approach to the EU’s budgetary revenue and expenditure, avoiding complicated administrative mechanisms.
During the talks, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica presented in detail Latvia’s position on the principles to be followed in drafting the multiannual financial framework, the significance of the cohesion policy and the need for equalising payments under the common agricultural policy. The Parliamentary Secretary drew the MEPs’ attention to the position of Latvia on the programmes for strengthening competitiveness and the issues of external security and defence.
The European Parliament is currently working on “Draft Report on the next MFF: Preparing the Parliament’s position on the MFF post-2020”. Almost 700 proposals on amendments have been received. A decision by the Committee on Budgets is upcoming on 22 February, while a vote at the EP plenary session is scheduled for this coming March. The EP Committee on Budgets and its two rapporteurs, Isabelle Thomas and Jan Olbrycht, are responsible for drawing up the report. Other parliamentary committees, including the Committee on Regional Development, will also contribute to its formulation.
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