Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-225"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, ladies and gentlemen, 2007 is going to be a very exciting financial year, for in it, that which the Heads of State or Government, in December last year, adopted as their political priority, and was agreed on by this House and the Council this May, is, for the first time, to become a living reality. There are a few aspects of this that I am already getting seriously worried about. This very week, we will be adopting a number of legal bases for multiannual programmes intended to run with effect from 1 January next year. The stage we are currently at is that the Member States are putting together their framework plans for the conduct of structural policy and submitting them to the Commission. My very real concern is that the 2007 budget will become an austerity budget as a consequence of many programmes not even being able to get started, even though they are urgently needed. What I will say, in quite specific terms, and speaking as someone from a country that has the honour of providing the EU with one-fifth of its funding, is that our concern is that, when so much money is called for – despite the lack of any increase over the past in terms of percentages of gross national income, although I will mention in passing that gross national income has increased as a consequence of enlargement – there must of course be some value given in return for this money. It is for that reason that I am very glad that our rapporteur, Mr Elles, has said that we want to fund more programmes and less administration, although what the Commission still has to do is to demonstrate that it can run the programmes in a proper manner and that all this will not be absorbed by administration costs. The agencies are another issue that we really have to sort out, since there are apparently going to be three more of them. What I also want to say with regard to this House’s budget is that we have to reap the benefit of what we have achieved through the success of our building policy. It is intolerable that we should, just because the money is available, keep on inflating the parliamentary budget and funding things that may well not actually be needed, such as WebTV, for example. What we need, then, is value for money, and that is what matters most of all. The report from the Court of Auditors that was presented this morning gives me reason to believe that there is a great potential there for more to be achieved."@en1

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