Berlin, 28. September 2012 Press release

Link and Lopatka: “EU Commission called upon to handle EU funds more efficiently”

State Minister Link and State Secretary Lopatka discuss the coming EU budget in Berlin

Berlin, 28 September 2012 – The EU multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020 was the central item on the agenda of a meeting between German State Minister Michael Link and Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka. “Germany and Austria together with other net contributors have been advocating a significant reduction of the Commission's proposal ever since the start of the negotiations. In times of serious austerity and consolidation measures in Europe, the EU budget must not be exempt from such efforts”, Link and Lopatka said.

“Besides, the quality of the expenses are in decisive. We have to use the budget to boost growth and competitiveness. The slogan "better spending instead of more spending" is an essential principle of the German and Austrian savings proposals”, Link and Lopatka agreed. “We will have to make the EU budget significantly more efficient and effective in future. It cannot be acceptable that proposed subsidies are not fetched for years. A solution needs to be found for this issue". State Minister Link added: "If the funds available are used in a targeted manner, the next multi-annual financial framework is the best growth package that Europe has at its disposal.”

Germany and Austria also see savings potential in matters of administration and asked the Commission to make curtailment proposals in this field.

The future of Europe was another item on the agenda of the meeting between State Minister Link and State Secretary Lopatka. The proposals made by the “Future of Europe Group“ initiated by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle are intended to make the EU more effective and fit for increasing global competition. Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger has been actively involved in the Future of Europe Group on behalf of Austria. Central elements of these endeavours are the consolidation of the economic and currency union, an improvement of the democratic legitimation of EU policy and more involvement of European citizens. The findings of the Future of Europe Group were submitted to EU Council President Van Rompuy and the President of the Commission this week (http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Europa/Aktuell/120918-Zukunftsgruppe_Warschau_node.html).

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