Wednesday, 23 April 2014

PM: CzechRep will seek improvement in EU budget at summit

22 November 2012

Prague, Nov 21 (CTK) - The Czech Republic does not like the EU draft budget for 2014-20 and it will try to improve it, Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) told journalists Wednesday, adding that unlike ten member countries, Prague does not threaten with a veto in this case.

It is not interested in the EU budget framework not being approved, Necas said.

The government approved Wednesday Necas's mandate for the EU summit to be held in Brussels later this week.

"We do not like the draft, we will take a very sharp stand on it. On the other hand, we are not interested in the financial framework for several years not to be approved," Necas said.

The Czech Republic mainly wants to remain a net recipient of European money and it is opposed to decreasing spending on cohesion policy within which money flows from European funds to less developed EU regions.

Necas said he would consider it success if the Czech Republic remained among the first five states in terms of allocation of means per number of inhabitants.

He said the Czech Republic does not want to threaten with a veto because member countries could have problems with drawing cohesion means in case the long-term framework were not approved.

The European Commission proposed recently a long-term budget exceeding 1000 billion euros which some states consider too much.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy submitted a compromise proposal last week that is 75 to 80 billion euros lower.

Germany and Britain, however, call for more cuts.

Necas said it is possible to have an austerity and rational budget and yet maintain means for cohesion that has a pro-growth character.

He said Prague believes that direct payments to agriculture and spending on the EU administration could be decreased.

"If cuts are to be made, they should be made in all chapters," he said.

Necas said a transparent and effective use of means from European fund should be the key goal.

"It must be objectively said that financial means from European funds are often wasted in this financial period," Necas said.

Some steps are "even very immoral and unethical, beyond the border of law and connected with corruption," Necas said.

He recalled that the Czech Republic is a member of the group of Friends of Cohesion that associates mainly new and poorer EU states, but also groups of net contributors to the budget who want an austerity budget.

"We can imagine a combination of both these elements," Necas said.

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