Front page.

News | Wednesday, 19 May 2010 Issue. 164

Bookmark and Share

EP to vote on substantial increases for MEPs allowances today

The European Parliament (EP) has postponed to today the vote on the amending budget for 2010 for the EP, which would bring about substantial increases in the monthly allowances that each MEP will receive.
According to the latest agenda for the EP plenary session which started on Monday, the debate on the amending budget took place as scheduled yesterday.
However, the vote on the controversial proposal has now been shifted to Wednesday at noon, together with another 11 votes. The vote on the amended EP budget for 2010 is the fifth in the list published by the EP.
The vote will be taking place today after last Thursday, ambassadors representing EU Member States gave their consent to the €9.4 million increase in the EP’s amended budget for 2010 with a qualified majority. This means that not all EU Member States consented to this substantial increase in MEPs allowances and staff.
A spokesperson for the Maltese Government’s Permanent Representation in Brussels had told sister paper Illum last Sunday that Malta had agreed with this increase in the EP budget despite the bad economic situation both in Malta as well as in the EU.
“Malta voted in favour of this proposal during the COREPER – Part 2 meeting on 12 May 2010,” the Permanent Representation spokesperson had told Illum.
Asked specifically whether Malta agreed with the EP’s request for an additional €9.4 million for the 2010 budget, the spokesperson had told Illum that Malta “agrees with the draft amending budget No.1 for the General Budget for the year 2010 related to the impact of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on the EP’s administrative expenditure”.
After the ambassadors from EU Member States gave their consent to the amended EP budget for 2010, the EP plenary session was now expected to give its approval during this week’s EP plenary session as soon as this week.
Under the proposals presented by the EP’s Secretariat, each MEP will be receiving an €1,500 raise his or her monthly allowances to reach €19,040 each month to employ more assistants with the MEPs in view of the “added responsibilities” that the EP will be shouldering under the Lisbon Treaty.
Moreover, the EP will employ an addition 150 employees – 75 with the different political groups in the EP and another 75 with the EP’s Secretariat to cater for the “additional workload” created by the Lisbon Treaty for the EP.
The EP leadership tried to justify the additional expenditure for the Parliament’s administration by contending that the Lisbon Treaty, which was entered into force on 1 December 2009, had “increased the MEPs workload”.
The EP was ready to slash its reserve for buildings by €9.4 million, however was still insisting on the need to increase the EP budget by €9.4 million to €1.6 billion to cope with the additional expenditure.
Socialist Slovak MEP Vladimir Manka, who is the rapporteur for the EP’s position on the proposed changes for the EP’s 2010 Budget, explained how MEPs had been waiting for the final verdict from EU Member States’ about before putting the amended EP budget to a final vote.
However, he was “quite positive” that his colleagues in the EP would be approving the amended spending proposal “soon”.
Various Member States, including Spain, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland had not welcomed the EP’s request for more funds

EP reaches deal with Member States’ over budget
On Monday, the EP and the Council of Ministers formally announced that they had reached a deal under which the Council had accepted the EP’s request for extra funds in exchange for approval of the Council’s 2008 Budget by the EP.
The deal announced was brokered by Spanish Premier Jose Luis Zapatero, the current head of the EU’s rotating presidency, and EP President Jerzy Buzek
Under it, the Parliament’s two largest groups, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Socialist and Democrats (S&D), would today reject a motion to postpone the review.
This would automatically mean the Council would have passed its 2008 review.
In exchange, Member States had agreed in full to the Parliament’s demand for 150 assistants and an increase in MEPs’ monthly allowance.



Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below.
Please write a contact number and a postal address where you may be contacted.



Download front page in pdf file format

The dividends of hates

Anna Mallia
Corruption and the private sector

Tolga Temuge
Anna Mallia’s hunting fantasy

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email