EU struggles to reach budget agreement

 
Flags outside the European Parliament next to a sculpture holding a euro sign Some countries support an enlarged EU budget

Senior EU officials are warning that it is proving harder than ever to reach an agreement on the European Union's next multi-annual budget.

Ministers are meeting on Monday for further talks and EU leaders will hold a special summit in November to try to strike a budget deal.

The European Commission has proposed an overall budget of 1,033bn euros ($1,337bn; £824bn) for 2014-2020.

But Britain and others say it should be about 100bn euros less than that.

Every six years or so, the EU has a big political fight about the size and structure of its next multi-annual budget.

At a time of economic crisis, that looming row is once again upon us.

The Commission points out that the budget it has proposed represents only about 1% of Europe's income, and many countries are supportive.

They want to protect spending programmes from which they benefit, such as the Common Agricultural Policy or Regional Funding for poorer areas of the European Union.

But a number of influential countries argue that increased spending is not tenable and they want a real freeze in the size of the budget.

Britain's Europe Minister David Liddington said he would be making it clear that the Commission has to "get into the habit of spending better, not always looking to spend more".

As for proposals to change the nature of the UK abatement or rebate - that, he said, "simply isn't going to happen".

 

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  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 189.

    The European Commission could do us all a favour and reduce the amount of money required hugely by just dissolving itself. It is a monstrous bureaucratic unelected waste of space!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 188.

    "mombser2
    When they finally get their auditors to sign off their books"

    If you are going to accuse an organization that costs the equivalent of just under 250 euros a year for each EU citizen then you want to know all that money is being well spent.

    Have a look here: http://www.ecademy.com/node.php?id=109141
    or: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeucom/270/27010.htm

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 187.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 186.

    Pragmatic common-sense should guide the EU in making tough, balanced choices. All members should realize the stark situation the EU is in. The EU budget is far too big. Countries are spending excessively. A realistic budget managed by well-trained economists and business managers should lead. Politicians should play second fiddle.The best accounting brains, standards should take precedence!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 185.

    Sow the seeds of human progress and you may reap prosperity for all, although there's no guarantee.
    However, sow nothing and you'all reap nothing, that's a certainty.
    You can't make any headway without investing nothing.
    It all depends on what all this money is gonna be invested in.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 184.

    Has anyone given any thought to providing external control so that individual member states can restrict the EU budget?

    We need sensible controls.

    If MEPs were paid by the countries they represent and the bureaucrats had realistically restricted salaries, the budget could easily be dropped drastically with no loss of function, (only loss of nuisance!).

    Then the massive offices could be sold!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 183.

    Untill the EU can provide proper accounts which can actually be checked and signed off by auditors (which hasn't happened for many years) its all a joke anyway. No one knows what has been spent or on what. Any other organization this badly run would have tax authorities, fraud investigators and money laundering authorities all over it.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 182.

    £824bn! Sounds like EU presdente Barroso's wants a new private jet! He racked up €249,000 on charges for private jets in just the last 9 months. Shows us what he thinks of austerity.

    You can email him what your opinon here: [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 181.

    "powermeerkat
    It was 1765 Stamp Act imposed illegally by the British Parliament."

    It was quite legal. At the time the colonies were under the British Crown so parliament was perfectly entitled to tax them as it saw fit, especially to recoup the costs to defend it. By all means argue it was undemocratic (where wasn't?) and ill advised but it was certainly as legal as colonising it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 180.

    When they finally get their auditors to sign off their books, which have been in question for 16 years maybe they might be able to reach a sensible budget. Until then I think they have a lot of "Soul" searching to do!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 179.

    I note that once again our old combatant the CAP is right there in the mix.

    As costly now as it always was. Do something about that & perhaps the EU can begin to put its house in order,though given the time its been in operation I'll not hold out any hopes on it happening anytime soon.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 178.

    Is it worth mentioning that getting rid of the farmers' handout for doing nothing (AKA the Common Agricultural Policy) would, if abolished, allow the EU not only to fulfil all its other financial goals, but provide some real support for ailing nations like Greece and Ireland. So what's more important - the wellbeing of fat, lazy scroungers on their farms or a (potentially) fairer Europe for all?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 177.

    I personally feel that the EU has done so much for this country, europe, the world, that they should be able to have a budget of a hundred billion, million, trillion zillion, just so they can keep up the good work.
    It might impress the markets too.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 176.

    I see the 10 UKIP voters in the whole of the UK are busy today.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 175.

    @170
    Every single country is entitled to leave the EU.
    How can You speak of "Forcing sovereign nations to borrow into debt to bail out other nations" ?
    Countries that do not agree usually open an argument ( e.g. Finland has been quite critical of the ESM ).
    The only pressure the EU is exerting is the menace of stopping the support by other members in a future time of need.
    And rightly so.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 174.

    @171.Commander
    If I don't trust Govt, imagine how little I trust another Govt in another country (Belgium). The Govt which governs least governs best. Europe will return to its sovereign boarders, the sooner the better. The longer the EU peruses Keynesian & socialised policies harmful to the people, the more painful this inevitable transition will be.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 173.

    Time for an in/out vote.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 172.

    What the EU needs to do is to just simply dissolve and let each country find it's own currency value and straighten out it's own budget. It worked out quite well during the Belle Epoch(1880-1914) which was ended by WW1.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 171.

    @170 mayby. then again you have, as an individual of the masses, a limited veiw of the overall situation which is undoubtably heavily influenced by certain media and you are also not privy to all the information. unlike members of the goverenment which have the advantage of far more information and a greater veiw of the big picture. so the question is how much do you trust your goverenment.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 170.

    @165.austriacus
    U touch on the white elephant in the room: is the EU a good thing? I think legally, financially & morally it is repugnant to social & economic liberty. Forcing sovereign nations to borrow into debt to bail out other nations. If those nations parliaments vote against these measures, they're forced to re-vote until Brussels is happy. If a referendum were held: the EU would die.

 

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