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Louis Grech on EP budget

Speaking during its plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday, Labour MEP Louis Grech stated that the European Parliament (EP) should sharpen its focus on its core operations, thereby ensuring more efficient use of its resources, cutting down on waste and duplication. He insisted that "proper manpower planning including redeployment, recruitment, harmonisation, training and services improvement should also be considered as priorities in 2006".

He added that the EP's policy of communication and information was disappointing, since "we have failed to convince European citizens that the European Parliament is representing their aspirations and interests."

The plenary session was discussing the voting on the presentation of the EU Budget for 2006.

In the months prior to the plenary session, Mr Grech participated actively in the meetings of the Budgets Committee, representing the Socialist Party Group (PSE).

Mr Grech was one of the main spokesmen of the Socialist Group on the Budget relating to "Other Sections".

These include the budget of the Parliament, the Council, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, Office of the Ombudsman and Committee of Regions; however it excludes the Commission's budget.

During the plenary session, Mr Grech, on behalf of the Socialist Group, moved a number of amendments to the proposed budget.

After lengthy discussion, most of Mr Grech's amendments were incorporated in the final resolution.

During his final intervention, Mr Grech concluded that in the final analysis of the budget "one has to view the budget in terms of its impact on EU citizens offering them a value added product which comes up to their expectations, in so doing strengthening the image and credibility of the EU Parliament and its institutions".

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