L-eks Prim Ministru Alfred Sant wissa li l-2023 se tkun sena iebsa għall-ekonomija Ewropea u r-riperkussjonijiet se jinħassu fil-partijiet kollha tas-soċjetà.

Filwaqt li indirizza l-plenarja tal-Parlament Ewropew dwar il-baġit ġenerali tal-Unjoni Ewropea għall-2023, huwa innota li l-Parlament Ewropew qed jieħu pożizzjoni bilanċjata fiċ-ċirkostanzi diffiċli tal-lum. “Il-ħtiġijiet baġitarji żdiedu immens. Madanakollu s-sorsi ta’ finanzjament jibqgħu b’xi mod statiċi fil-volum u l-varjetà tagħhom, minħabba l-isfidi finanzjarji li qed jaffaċċjaw l-Istati Membri”, stqarr Sant.

Il-Parlament Ewropew iddiskuta u adotta l-pożizzjoni tiegħu dwar l-abbozz tal-baġit tal-Unjoni Ewropea għall-2023. Dan se jkun stabbilit għal €187.3 biljun. Aktar minn €850 miljun ġew miżjuda mal-abbozz oriġinali biex jintlaqgħu aħjar ir-riperkussjonijiet tal-gwerra fl-Ukrajna. Barra minn hekk, aktar fondi se jkunu allokati lill-proċess ta’ rkupru mill-pandemija, Erasmus+, azzjoni klimatika u netwerks trans-Ewropej.

Il-Membru Parlamentari Ewropew Laburista Sant ivvota favur ir-riżoluzzjoni iżda esprima riżervi dwar il-fondi diretti ivvotati lejn in-nefqa tad-difiża u dik militari. Filwaqt li fehem li l-biċċa l-kbira tal-Istati Membri huma ħerqana biex jiċċentralizzaw din in-nefqa, huwa staqsa għaliex stati newtrali tal-Unjoni għandhom jikkontribwixxu għal dil-parti mill-baġit li hi ddedikata biex issostni dik li qed titqies bħala Unjoni tad-Difiża. F’dal-qafas, huwa ssuġġerixxa li l-Istati Membri Ewropej għandu jkollhom il-possibiltà li ma jipparteċipawx.

Barra minn hekk, fid-dawl tal-ħtiġijiet urġenti li qed taffaċċja l-Unjoni huwa staqsa jekk il-finanzjament ivvotat biex tkompli ssir il-“Konferenza tal-Futur tal-Ewropa” huwiex ġustifikat. “Bħalissa, m’għandniex għażla oħra ħlief li nistabbilixxu l-prijoritajiet tagħna sew”, enfasizza Sant.

Ir-riżoluzzjoni ġiet adottata b’421 vot favur, 137 vot kontra u 82 astensjoni.

Member States should be granted an opt-out from the Common Security and Defence Policy – Alfred Sant

Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant warned that 2023 will be a tough year for the European economy and repercussions will be felt in all parts of society.

While addressing the European Parliament’s plenary on the general budget of the European Union for 2023, he noted that the European Parliament’s take represents a balanced position in the current difficult circumstances. “Budgetary needs have increased immensely. Yet funding sources remain somehow static in volume and variety, due to the challenging financial situation which Member States are experiencing”, Sant stated.

The European Parliament discussed and adopted its position on the European Council’s reading of the 2023 draft budget. This will be set at €187.3 billion. Over €850 million were added to the original draft to better address the repercussions of the war in Ukraine. Besides, more funds will be directed towards the pandemic recovery process, Erasmus+, climate action and trans-European networks.

Sant voted in favour of the resolution but expressed reservations on the funding directed towards defence and military spending. While understanding the urge of most Member States to centralise it, he questioned the role and scope of neutral Member States’ contribution within a budget dedicated to a pseudo-Defence Union. On these lines, he suggested that neutral European Member States should be granted an opt-out.

Furthermore, in view of the urgent needs the Union is facing he questioned whether funding to the continuation of the “Future of Europe Conference” should proceed. “Now, we really have no option but to set our priorities right”, Sant emphasized.

The resolution was adopted with 421 votes in favour, 137 votes against and 82 abstentions.

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