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European budget wasting millions on Turkish illusions
In the European budget for 2018, it is striking that Turkey is receiving 105 million euros less accession aid. MEP Sander Loones considers it a step in the right direction, but one which does not yet go far enough: “Turkey will not accede to the European Union. So it’s best just to get rid of every form of accession aid for the country.”
The pressure from European Member States to cut the money given to Turkey has borne fruit, but the traditional parties in the European Parliament are ensuring that in 2018 a sum of 534 million euros will still be disappearing into Erdoğan’s less-than-democratic black hole. “That is one of the reasons why the N-VA voted against the European budget,” Sander Loones explains.
Increasing budget sets the wrong focus
In addition, the fact that the European budget is increasing further in 2018 is a cause of concern for the N-VA. “Yes, the EU is investing more, as it should be, in useful programmes like Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+,” MEP Sander Loones says. “But to do so, you really don’t need to extract additional tax revenue from the citizen. Follies like free train tickets, the monthly decamping to Strasbourg and yes, even plans to operate a B&B in France, are absurd. And this while only 9% of the EU budget in 2018 will be spent on an effective security and asylum policy.”