Even though the European Parliamentary Assembly has only limited legislative powers, its budgetary powers impose on it a particular responsibility. In an article published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde on 6 November 1979, Pierre Bernard-Reymond, French Junior Foreign Minister, wishes to see the Assembly exercise its budgetary powers in a spirit of dialogue with the Council.
In November-December 1979, the federalist magazine L'Europe en formation calls for an increase in the European Community's own resources so as to guarantee its ability to function and enable it to fulfil its tasks in the proper manner.
In an article in the December 1979 edition of the monthly publication 30 Jours d’Europe, Pascal Fontaine, senior lecturer at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, considers the significance and the results of the first elections to the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage. He also refers to the fields in which the European Communities have been involved in the past year, the issues which the European Parliament has addressed and its conflictual relationship with the Council over the Community budget.
In June 1980, writing in the Dutch European Movement’s monthly publication Nieuw Europa, Piet Dankert, Vice-President of the European Parliament, comments on the role that Parliament plays in discussions regarding the approval of the European Communities’ budget.
In February 1984, the European Commission calls for greater budgetary discipline within the Community, since that will go some way towards correcting budgetary imbalances and increasing the Communities’ own resources.
In his editorial of 14 November 1984, Emanuele Gazzo, Director of Agence Europe, openly criticises the new budgetary discipline envisaged by the Council and, lamenting the way in which certain Community institutions operate, declares that the Community is deviating from its fundamental tasks.
In its edition of 30 November 1987, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel discusses what is at stake at the meeting of the European Council to be held on 4 and 5 December 1987 in Copenhagen and analyses the consequences of the budgetary crisis which is currently affecting the European Community.
On 28 February 1987, the Commission submits to the Council and to Parliament a report on the financing of the Community budget in which it notes the growing disparity between resources and Community requirements and the need to establish a system of medium-term expenditure planning with the aim of strengthening management efficiency.
In its communication dated 15 February 1987 entitled Making a success of the Single Act: a new frontier for Europe, commonly known as the ‘Delors I Package’, the Commission sets out its proposals for reform which would provide the Community with the resources required to attain the objectives of the Single Act and plans to introduce new rules governing budgetary discipline. Among other things, it recommends the establishment of multiannual financial forecasts to ensure the observance of budgetary discipline.
On 18 February 1987, Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities, outlines what will be the focus of the Commission Communication entitled Making a success of the Single Act: a new frontier for Europe to the European Parliament.
On 29 June 1987, as the European Council opens in Brussels, French President François Mitterrand expresses his optimism at the planned reform of Community funding put forward by the European Commission.
On 30 June 1987, following the Brussels European Council, the President of the French Republic, François Mitterrand, and his Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac, reply to questions from journalists on the issue of the financing of the Community.
Following the Brussels European Council, held on 29 and 30 June 1987, in its summer edition the federalist journal L'Europe en formation, analyses the disagreements between Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister, and her European counterparts over the Delors plan guidelines.
In its autumn 1987 edition, the federalist journal L'Europe en formation analyses the reasons for the failure of the Copenhagen European Council of 4 and 5 December 1987 on the adoption of the Delors Package.
In this interview, Jean-Jacques Kasel, Director of Political and Cultural Affairs in the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry from 1986 to 1992, discusses the difficulties encountered during the reform of the Community budget, undertaken in response to communications from the Commission known as the ‘Delors I and II Packages’. He particularly describes the general atmosphere of bargaining between the States which were net contributors and those which were net beneficiaries.
In this interview excerpt, Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities from 1985 to 1995, discusses the origins of the concept of multiannual financial perspectives, and the negotiation of the first ‘Delors Package' in 1988.
The Brussels European Council (11 to 12 February 1988)
On 12 February 1988, at a joint press conference held after the European Council, François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac, respectively French President and Prime Minister, answer journalists’ questions on the agreement reached for the introduction of the ‘Delors package’.
On 12 February 1988, during the Brussels European Council held on 11 and 12 February, the German weekly magazine Die Zeit comments on the discussions between Germany and its European partners, especially the United Kingdom, on the Delors package.
On 15 February 1988, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung welcomes the adoption of the Delors package at the Brussels European Council held on 11 and 12 February, despite resistance from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
On 16 February 1988, the British left-wing daily newspaper The Guardian analyses the policy pursued by the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, towards the budgetary measures advocated by the Delors Commission.
In its Communication of 11 February 1992 entitled From the Single Act to Maastricht and beyond: the means to match our ambitions, also known as the ‘Delors II Package’, the Commission proposes adjustments to the structure of Community funding so as to take greater account of each Member State’s ability to pay.
On 11 February 1992, Jacques Delors, President of the Commission of the European Communities, sets out to the European Parliament the issues surrounding the ‘Delors II Package’ on the financial measures required for the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty.
On 26 May 1992, the daily newspaper La Libre Belgique analyses the national and Community aspects of the Delors II package on the financial measures required to enable the Maastricht Treaty to enter into force.
In June 1992, in the monthly journal Crocodile, Joan Colom i Naval, MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets, criticises the restrictive attitude adopted at the Lisbon European Council towards the financing of the objectives agreed in Maastricht.
On 14 December 1992, commenting on the conclusions adopted two days earlier by the Twelve at the close of the Edinburgh European Council, the French daily newspaper Le Monde gives an account of the difficulties involved in reaching a compromise on the financing of the Community budget over the next seven years.
On 14 December 1992, two days after the Edinburgh European Council, the French daily newspaper Le Monde comments on the thorny issue of the financing of the Community budget and analyses the precise financing plan proposed by Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission.
In April 1993, in an article in the monthly publication Revue du Marché commun et de l’Union européenne, Philippe Jouret, administrator at the Commission of the European Communities in the Directorate General for Budget, analyses the question of the financing of the Community budget and the proposals contained in the ‘Delors II Package’.