European Parliament President David Sassoli said he welcomed the agreement reached by European Union (EU) leaders on the COVID-19 recovery fund, but deemed cuts in the bloc’s seven-year budget “unjustified”.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said the European Parliament will make “certain corrections” to the budget when it meets to discuss it in a plenary session to be held on Thursday, reports Xinhua news agency.
European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will also attend.
The bloc’s 2021-2027 budget was negotiated in conjunction with a 750-billion-euro economic recovery package that aims to help EU countries bounce back from the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreement on a 1.1-trillion-euro budget was reached along with the recovery fund following marathon meetings earlier this week.
Sassoli said that the agreement reached by the European Council was an important one but that the parliament wanted to improve upon it.
He said while the European Parliament was pleased with the resources included in the recovery package, it failed to understand how certain cuts were made in areas which are of utmost importance.
He mentioned as examples cuts in the budget for research and young people and planned cuts in migration and asylum policies, which he said were “unjustified”.
“If we want to bet on future generations, we cannot cut the budget for research and Erasmus,” said Sassoli.
“We need to start negotiations so we can discuss this and reach an MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) which is more useful for countries and support in the long term the EU’s objective,” he added.
On the introduction of the new own resources, the European Parliament President said he expected a specific timeline on the introduction, with at least two own resources introduced in 2021 and others in the years following that.