Lamassoure, chairman of the European Parliament Budget Committee and head of the Parliament's four-member negotiating team, explained that the legally binding vote will take place in September or October, because it needs substantial preparation.
The autumn vote will relate to a large package of legal documents, including the regulation containing the budget, and about 80 other pieces of legislation needed to implement it. It will also include an inter-institutional agreement over how the budget can be spent, including statements from the three EU institutions on subjects such as “own resources” - or funding that does not rely on national contributions - he said.
What will be voted on tomorrow is a resolution tabled by the political groups who support the compromise, the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) and the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Lamassoure said.
This text will say that a qualified majority in Parliament supports the compromise reached on 27 June, but that it regrets that the procedure has left to accepting low levels of financing (€960 billion, down from €1.025 billion).
The resolution will add that the final vote in the autumn will be conditional on the full payment of the amending budget for 2013, to the amount of €11 billion.
But Lamassoure said MEPs would not allow the future European Commission and Parliament be “condemned to austerity”.
The head of the Parliament’s negotiating team attached a particular importance to the mid-term review clause, scheduled to take place in 2016. He said that “happily enough” the negotiation has allowed to “guarantee” that from 2016, the entire budget procedure would be reviewed, and that the next Commission would not be condemned to seven years of austerity.
Indeed, Parliament negotiators succeeded to introduce provisions for flexibility of spending, allowing unspent money to be re-used from one year to the next, with certain limits.
The review will also relate to the system of "own resources" for the EU's future finances, which the Commission said could include an EU VAT, a charge related to air transport and a share of auctioning revenue derived from the bloc's CO2 emissions trading scheme.
The European Commission will make proposals for amending the present system at the end of 2016. This “mid-term review” will check disbursement of funds under the different programmes and will formulate new forecasts for the Union’s needs.
The French MEP, who was the European Affairs minister in his country from 1993 to 1995, expressed satisfaction from the work of his negotiating team. In particular, he singled out the role of Socialist MEP Ivailo Kalfin, for having negotiated the “flexibility” clause, which is expected to mobilise some €55 billion of unused money for the EU budget, instead of returning it to the member states.
Lamassoure also slammed the Commission for having “forgotten” that the Union was now equipped with a Lisbon Treaty with new responsibilities and new policies skills, which require a minimum of additional funding. He also criticised Ireland's foreign and trade minister, Eamon Gilmore, and Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski for having sent a false message on 19 June that the EU budget was agreed, which proved to be wrong.
But he said that now these details had been “forgotten”.