BRATISLAVA – More or less for Erasmus+

Charles Michel’s compromise plan has in no way affected the main priorities of the Slovak government on the 2021-2027 EU budget. The Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs František Ružička, who participated in the Monday General affairs council (GAC), made no direct reference to Michel’s proposal calling for a budget set at 1,074% of the EU’s GNI.

He reiterated that Slovakia would keep fighting for its priorities: a strong Cohesion and Common Agricultural Policy.

“We have given a positive signal that we are ready to seek a compromise,” Ružička told journalists after the GAC meeting, adding that “if we want to create an EU budget for the future, we cannot allow radical reductions in successful and strategically important programs such as Erasmus+”.

It is quite a surprising statement given that after the meeting with Michel, Slovak prime minister Peter Pellegrini pleaded for spending cuts for centrally managed programmes, explicitly mentioning Erasmus+.

“We can’t draw from these even the proportional sums we are entitled to, which is why it’s not sensible for us to see programme hikes worth several billion in centrally-governed programmes that are certain to be allocated to larger countries. This is where we perceive room for some cuts,” added Pellegrini. (Marián Koreň | EURACTIV.sk

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