The proposals the Commission put forward yesterday provide an excellent starting point for the discussions we will hold in the next few months with other EU member states and institutions. Our goal will be to approve a multi-annual financial framework as a strategic tool to address the priorities of the European Union.
The EU Commission proposed a budget that goes beyond the “psychological threshold” of 1% of EU GDP, while considering the union must successfully tackle pressing challenges such as the migration crisis, security issues, common defence, innovation, and without ignoring important objectives such as social and territorial cohesion and support for quality agriculture.
These are all common priorities the European Union must pursue by pooling its resources and energies, to address EU citizens’ concerns and regain their trust.
The EU budget has a section dedicated to migration, which acknowledges the structural character of this phenomenon, thus supporting Italy’s demands for the EU to have a genuine common migration policy.
It is also very positive that greater importance is attached to security and defence issues, and the union’s external actions.
However, there are continuing concerns about the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and its decreased potential: currently, the international framework is fragile, and we must not weaken cooperation with southern and eastern Mediterranean countries.
There will need to be negotiations to restore specific ENP financial tools, apart from the funds dedicated to development aid.