Government Communication Unit
Brussels, 29 June 2012 – At the European Council meeting, the European Union’s budget plan for the 2014-2020 period was discussed and agreement was reached in principle on a set of actions known as the growth pact to help member states create new jobs and ensure economic growth. At the negotiations over the European Union budgetary plan, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip stressed that direct subsidies for agriculture should be equalized for Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian farmers at a faster rate.
“Estonian farmers must be treated equally in the European Union,” said Ansip. Estonian farmers receive less support per hectare compared to the biggest aid recipients, just 44 percent of the European Union average level.
The Prime Minister also said enough funds should be allocated for European Union’s Cohesion Policy, as this helps increase the level of well-being in regions that are less-developed and help them recover from the economic downturn.
Denmark – which holds the European Union’s presidency – has mapped out all of the topics that require agreement between member states. Drawing on this report, the heads of government launched discussions on the main directions of the new EU long-term budget. An agreement on the budget is hoped to be reached by the end of 2012.
At today’s meeting, the leaders found that the European Union’s funds must be used judiciously and investments must be directed to ensuring growth. “This means that the budget must support all of the activities that help increase employment and improve the European Union’s competitiveness,” said Ansip. Estonia supports the view that use of structural funds should be linked from now on to the economic policy recommendations issued by the European Commission to each respective member state.
A key factor behind economic growth in the European Union is also a better-functioning internal market, for instance the opportunity of the business community to provide services without administrative obstacles everywhere in the European Union. Rapid progress toward a digital single market is also important, said Ansip, as this would contribute to online commerce and cross-border user of services.
Ansip reminds European Council of importance of equal treatment for farmers