Outcome of Juncker plan negotiations highlights lack of ambition for a real investment plan - Liadh Ní Riada
Speaking following the all-night negotiations on the Juncker investment plan Liadh Ní Riada welcomed modest progress, but said the final outcome once again highlighted the lack of ambition on the part of the Commission for a real investment plan to tackle the economic crisis and lead to sustainable growth.
The Sinn Féin MEP said:
"The negotiations on the flawed Juncker investment plan focused primarily on the disagreements between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers on how the plan would be funded.
"I had argued from the beginning that the Juncker plan would raid existing and important EU funding programmes in order to underwrite loans to private sector banks that would be beyond democratic control of any kind.
"The Juncker plan included cuts to the Connecting Europe Facility for transport infrastructure projects and Horizon 2020 for research and innovation amongst other programmes.
"I'm glad that the agreement reached this morning will reduce the cuts to these programmes by €1 billion, but while the Parliament did manage to get some marginal improvements I still believe that the very concept of this plan remains fundamentally flawed.
"Although investment is much needed to boost a starved economy, the Juncker plan lacks ambition and is focused on private sector investment instead of targeted, sustainable, accountable and smart public investment. This is what we need to revive the economy and to enable a social sustainable green economy. Investment in research, infrastructure, education, SMEs, social enterprises, and cooperatives is needed to propel us out of this crisis.
"What we need is a 'real public investment plan' for Europe. One which invests in the people and not one that is essentially creating another financial bubble. The ordinary taxpayer should not be paying for private profiteers."