Premier: EU Budget for Next Seven Years Should Be Fair

President of the European Council Charles Michel, left, and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini at the Goverment Office (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 8 (TASR) – The EU budget should be fair and countries should contribute to it on the basis of their economic strength, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) said on Wednesday following the discussion with President of the European Council Charles Michel on creating the multi-year financial framework.

According to the premier, without the EU budget for the next seven years it wouldn’t be possible to adopt solutions arising from global challenges such as the digital technological revolution, climate change, security, migration as well as reducing regional disparities between member states. “I assured the European Council president that Slovakia will be very constructive in the negotiations. I understand the necessity of certain concessions as a price for finding an acceptable agreement and compromise for all member states,” said the prime minister.

According to Pellegrini, the EU budget should be fair and everyone should contribute to it on the basis of their economic strength without unnecessary concessions, in order to be as flexible as possible for Slovakia and to use resources to finance priorities. “I place great hope in the European Council president, who’s been entrusted with the difficult task of finding a compromise between member states,” he added.

President of the European Council Charles Michel explained that he takes “different perspectives and visions into account and wants to know the challenges Slovakia can face in the future”. “Only together at the European level can we face many challenges. It’s important to find an agreement on the European budget. Not only through a technical but also a political debate. We need to find a good compromise. We’ll continue these discussions,” added Michel.

According to Michel, regional differences, which are a sensitive topic, must also be taken into account. “That’s why it’s important that the European budget also takes them into account. We must resolve the issue of the reduction of resources as a result of Brexit”, said Michel, adding that the negotiations on the multi-annual financial framework need to strike a balance in order to finance the agricultural sector as well as new challenges that states will be facing, such as climate change and migration.