30.10.2012 POLICY

MEPs vote in favour of Lifelong Learning programme

European Parliament endorsed Budgetary Committee´s views on EU Council cuts in the European Commission's budget proposal for 2013. The cuts must be reversed, said the MEPs in a plenary vote last Tuesday 23 October in Strasbourg.

Reinstating funding for payments in 2013 would help to protect popular EU programmes, such as Lifelong Learning, against funding shortfalls like those that disrupted them this year.

"We saw this coming and we want to avoid further patchwork in next year's budget. The last thing companies, researchers, students and other beneficiaries of EU programmes need is insecurity about the Commission honouring its legal commitments. We hope the member states' finance ministers recognise this and follow up on the growth pact agreed by their heads of state and government at the summit in June," said EPP´s Giovanni La Via (IT), who is steering the lion's share of the budget through Parliament.

The resolution was passed with 492 votes in favour, 123 against, and 82 abstentions.

After the vote, the Council informed the European Parliament that it cannot approve all its amendments for the 2013 EU draft budget. Therefore a three-week conciliation period started on October 24, aimed at bridging the gap between the divergent positions of the European Parliament and the Council.

Conciliation between the Council and Parliament started on the evening of Friday 26 October 2012. The closing meeting is scheduled for Friday 9 November. If an agreement is reached, the Parliament will vote again at the November plenary session.

Text: via European Parliament Press Service and Council of the European Union press centre