Fighting Before Feeding

I’m sitting here in the European Parliament chamber at the latest debate. The debate is about the MFF 2021-2027. Not the first alphabet soup debate we’ve had since I became an MEP. However this alphabetical anonymity is one that all people should get to know.

The MFF or the Multi Financial Framework is the EU forward plan on the Unions budget for the seven years between 2021-2027. It is as the Bulgarian Finance Minister has just said a ‘statement on policies and shared priorities’. How true.

While there is a staged consultation process on the future of Europe still on going the powers that be have already made up their minds. The future of Europe is set out in how we spend the budget up to 2027. The priorities are clear. Fighting before feeding.

What is proposed is a larger budget than we currently have. This in spite of the UK leaving. The hole is to be filled by an increase in contributions from members states through a variety of means. Yet we are being told that funding to the two most important areas, agriculture and cohesion must be cut. So the cake is bigger but still we have less for the two most important areas.

So why? Well the answer is that priorities are changing. What used to be core common policy, feeding the population, has been replaced with a common policy on defence. The Budgets Commissioner Gunther Oettinger was at least open as to why Agriculture was to be cut when he said that there are “more important” areas.

So here we are. The EU which touts itself as ‘the biggest peace project of our time’. We are told there has not been a war in Europe since the foundation of this institution. Yet after all these years of peace we are now to become a war machine and we are to sacrifice our ability to feed ourselves to do it. Madness.