Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-09-23-Speech-2-157"

PredicateValue (sorted: default)
dcterms:Is Part Of
lpv:document identification number
lpv:spoken text
". Mr President, I should like to thank Mr Magri for his speech. I do not need to remind Members that this is the last budget of this Parliament. If we look back over the last four years, we can see that there have been significant changes to the way in which the budgetary procedure has taken place. I should like to start that ball rolling in relation to the amendment from the PPE-DE Group that I mentioned earlier. I will be interested to know how the Commission and the Council would react if we voted through this amendment to give an extra EUR 500 million next year for the rebuilding of Iraq. Those of us who have been here for a long time have seen many changes, not least in the relationship between Parliament and Council. We now have a minister who will sit here for three hours or so in a budgetary debate, as we had last year, which says a lot about the Council. At one time we never saw a Council minister here at this point in the budget process. I say that to be complimentary, not to be insulting. There have been a lot of cultural changes in the way the process has evolved. I suppose that we are now less confrontational. There is now more codecision between the two arms of the budgetary authority, especially when we talk about the flexibility instrument. The conciliation process that takes place in November each year is a real conciliation. I am not too sure whether the July conciliation still serves much purpose, but the November conciliation proves its worth. There has been respect on both sides for the fact that we are the two arms of the budgetary authority. I hope that the changes we have seen over the past four years will be taken forward when the Convention is finally ratified and Parliament given its rightful place as one arm of the budgetary authority, thereby maintaining its strategic role for future years. Over these last four years I have had the pleasure of being Chairman of the Committee on Budgets. This will probably be my last budget as Chairman - I hear one or two boos at the back there - but I am looking forward to seeing this budget through. It has been non-stop ever since we were elected in 1999. The first thing we had to do was try to get an agreement on the flexibility instrument for the rebuilding of Kosovo. That was quickly followed by successive discussions and arguments with the Council about how to fund Serbia, Afghanistan, the notorious fisheries agreement, and even this year we had the problem of Category 5 and how we were going to fund the administration expenditure that was needed. This period has not been without its moments. At the beginning of this year, someone asked me whether there were any problems ahead for the 2004 budget. In a moment of weakness I said, 'no, not really'. That is, however, if we do not include enlargement, potential problems with Iraq later on or activity-based budgeting. But, since we do have to include these matters, we have to try and sort them all out. All those issues need to be resolved. The 2004 budget will be far from easy for a variety of reasons, firstly because it is in the ABB - activity-based budgeting - format. The fact is that we now have to vote in a different way for a different structure, and hopefully get it right, as well as deal with enlargement. We are voting on a new structure and then we will be voting for 10, 15 or 25 countries, depending on the way you look at it. It will be difficult because of the different amendments from the groups and committees, not least including the extremely interesting amendment by the PPE-DE Group requesting EUR 500 million for the rebuilding of Iraq. I will touch on that shortly. The new Financial Regulation is also complicating matters, especially the A-30 lines. Whilst these matters are just peanuts, they seem to take up a lot of time in the committees, as every member of the Committee on Budgets knows. There is also the real question of what the real needs of enlargement are, especially within the institutions. How do we determine that reality from the proposals of the Commission as well as of all the other institutions? The two rapporteurs, Mr Mulder and Mrs Gill, have striven manfully to try to get answers to that - I am not excluding Parliament here either. The fact is that this budget has to ensure that enlargement is a success and that we treat the applicant countries as equal partners and not as second-class cousins. We have to ensure that this is done correctly. We also have to ensure that, within this new format, this debate is meaningful. Let us hope these next few hours give a real chance for dialogue and trialogue between our three institutions. In the pursuit of solutions, it is important to address questions to the institutions, rather than to produce formal set-piece statements."@en1

Named graphs describing this resource:


The resource appears as object in 2 triples

Context graph