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

    Comment number 229.

    Is it just my impression, or are most of the anti-EU ranters rather elderly and clinging onto the UK's colonial past? Are they labouring under the delusion that leaving the EU would somehow get the empire back? Do they really want a repeat of the last century? Millions killed in two major European wars. It is not coincidence that a war between EU nations is now fairly unlikely.

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    This EU monstrosity trundles on like some gigantic cuckoo demanding more food, oblivious to the sufferings of its adoptive parents. The only countries who support budget increases for the EU are the net beneficiaries of its largesse, the handsomely remunerated MEPs and the equally overpriveleged and unaccountable Commission. I am not anti-european, simply deeply disappointed at what it has become.

  • Comment number 227.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    224.Knut Largerson
    ‘How can you want to come out of Europe but be happy to sit in Europe doing a job you decry as valueless.’
    It’s called stemming the flow and democratic obstruction.

    Pretty much what the opposition does in parliament.

    With that last statement, you’ve just lost any credibility you had.

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    It won't matter whether the people get a vote or not, economics will break the Euro Zone, plain & simple, it's only a matter of time. The issue is whether economics can break the EU first before possible xenophobic nationalism which came about in Germany after WWI can establish itself. I sincerely hope it's economics who wins this race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    3.1% that gets' you a few Council seats, the odd interview on Newsnight and as many lost deposits as you want.

    What makes me laugh though is there are UKIP Lords, and a dozen UKIP MEPs.

    How can you want to come out of Europe but be happy to sit in Europe doing a job you decry as valueless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    Reduce the EU budget by 10% in year one and reduce by a further 40% by year five. Then fix future annual budget increases by law to a maximum of this new figure plus inflation. Better still, abolish the whole shebang and start a common market.

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    To #213 Knut Largerson.

    Rallying opinion is democratic, however long it takes & UK is now more sceptical than ever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    If you think the UK government is corrupt then you aint seen nothing yet, the german/french superstate sorry i mean EU is just a gravy train for farmers n MP's.

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    @213.Knut Largerson
    Hyperbole, and you know it!

    Not everyone agrees with UKIP but will still vote leave and to think that a referendum will result in such a low number is disingenuous at best.
    Especially as a more and more amount of Europeans are also looking to leave. (26% in France since there last election so far and growing in number).

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    European budgets have served no more purpose than in reducing net contributors to the level of those unable to contribute.
    The money wasted on this unneeded level of government is shameful.
    Sooner we are outside of that mess the better.

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    "You Vote, then if you don't win you get on with your life. You don't spend the next twenty years on a dead duck campaign trying to make 3.1% of the Electorate into 51%."

    How long did it take the rest of the EU to bully and intimdate countries like Ireland into holding repeated referenda in order to get the "correct" result? Why, in the EU, is a YES for all eternity, but a NO a temporary anomaly?

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    given the nature of the EU and the way that it is ruling us we should invoke article 61 of the magna carta

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    Europe won't cure it's malaise on it's own...this monetary a world problem. Therefore the whole world needs to first accept it's a world problem (not denying it) then treat the problem as a whole. Too many years have passed since the first dice in this tragedy was cast & world leaders are preaching but not listening to the millions who need jobs, security & clarity in their lives!

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    @213.Knut Largerson
    Yes! 3.1% isn't democracy, 51% is. Mob rule where 51% can tell the other 49% what to do. Democracy isn't a good system. We need a republic whose only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, & fraud. The only legitimate Govt institutions are military, police, courts, fire depts, prisons, an executive & legislature.

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    The hypothetical bank manager would be more likely to adopt the sensible position of refusing further loans - the irreponsible business or individual would go bankrupt, deservedly so. However, the Greek bailouts are not altruistic. If Greece went bust, they would likely take down all those German banks who lent Greeks cheap money to buy German goods. The continued LOANS are pure self-interest

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    In the 2010 Election UKIP polled 3.1% of the vote.

    Chances are if we had a referendum on leaving the EU results would be pretty similar 3.1 %.

    That's how democracy works.

    You Vote, then if you don't win you get on with your life. You don't spend the next twenty years on a dead duck campaign trying to make 3.1% of the Electorate into 51%.

    3.1% isn't Democracy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 212.

    @209.Trout Mask Replica
    I'd hardly call that period of time to which you refer barbaric compared to the bloodshed & prolonged depressions of the 21st century. I think the relative standards of living for people in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Italy were higher prior to their countries surrendering sovereignty in exchange for massive unemployment & sovereignty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    The EU, like all governments has waste, being tied to all the member states increases this. However, to leave the club you have to accept either:
    Abide by rules that you have no input in creating (Norway, for example) and thus pay costs and receive no benefit.
    Leave the system entirely, and loose all inward investment and have to set up bi - lateral treaties on everything.
    Hobsons choice

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    The EU is just one big mess and in a depression which it will never get out of, without any hope of growth or paying off it’s debt, and dragging Britain down with it, the only hope this country has is that UKIP gets into government and takes us out of the EU.


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