The European parliament (EP) has rejected the EU 2014-2020 budget, branding it too austere. In all, 506 MEPs voted to modify the budgetary proposal submitted by member states. There were 161 votes in favour of conserving the document without changes and 23 abstentions.

The outcome of the vote was predictable, remarks Adevărul, which points out that —

… the elected representatives of the EU parliament took the view that the budget, which had been presented as a victory for common sense and a desire to strike a balance and move forward, was a hagglers’ bargain rather than a structured plan that adopts a responsible approach to the future of the EU.

As it stands, the Romanian daily adds, all of the EP’s parliamentary groups are competing to see who can be the most vocal and visible in the drive to overturn the budget. MEPs want to send a positive message to show that they care about European taxpayers. In the absence of an agreement, and while a deal is being concluded, the EU can continue to function on a budget frozen at the same level as last year’s. The daily concludes —

This latest episode is perhaps the most critical evidence of the urgent need to put an end to the current decision-making system and to modify existing treaties.