Brussels, 24 September 2012 Press release

Lopatka: EU administration must be screened for savings potential

Austrian State Secretary Lopatka repeats Austria’s central demands at the General Affairs Council in Brussels

Brussels, 24 September 2012 – State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka insisted on Austria’s core demands in the negotiations on the coming EU budget 2014-2020: “In line with other net contributors, we are demanding a significant reduction of the Commission’s proposal. I have also insisted that the Austrian contribution must not change for the worse; hence we need a corrective mechanism that does away with imbalances in the Commission’s proposal”, Lopatka said.

Other items on the agenda of the discussion about the financial framework included the structural and agricultural policies as well as transport infrastructure. “Austria advocates the creation of transition regions, so that regions in a transition phase can continue to receive EU subsidies. We do, however, see savings potential in this field, for example by introducing a ceiling for the total subsidies granted to a state. In agriculture we do not see any possibility for savings; agricultural subsidies are particularly important for Austria to ensure long-term promotion of rural development. As far as transport is concerned, we are in favour of extending the railway network for the sake of sustainability” the State Secretary said.

“We think that there is savings potential in administration; this field must be scrutinized by the Commission”, Lopatka demanded in his statement.

Another focus of Austria’s position is the boosting of economic growth and employment. “Saving and consolidation are key prerequisites for healthy businesses; at the same time we have to create impetus for the European economy. Austria has therefore proposed promoting small and medium-sized companies by making it easier for them to tap existing EU funds. These companies create jobs and need to be strengthened”, Lopatka concluded.

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