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 269.

    The one thing European Politicians do deserve credit for is maintaining the Peace in Europe.

    WWII & WWI cost Trillions of Pounds.

    OK Greece has got it pretty bad, and I've known better times Financially but I'm not ankle deep in mud eating compo rations and ducking when shells come over.

    £824 Billion is a bargain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    None of the E.U. commissioners can afford to mention the entire herd of elephants in the room. The bloated common agricultural policy, fisheries policy, the costs of moving the whole governing body twice a year between France and Belgium. Everywhere you look there are glaring examples of maladministration and appalling economic practice. Get your own house in order, and you won't need an increase.

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    The crisis isn't a reason to cut the EU budget, it's a reason to increase it. In the UK we get Structural Funds for deprived areas for job training and youth projects. We're not seeing any of that from the Tory government. Under Thatcher lots of small towns survived because they got European funding for regeneration when investment from the UK government was being cut off. How quickly we forget.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    dear BBC could we have some context please - what about a graph showing the last 3 accounting periods adjusted by inflation. Thatway we can see if its a small increase in line with inflation, a massive increase or even a drop - because this article gives no basis for comparison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    From Wikipedia especially for You:
    "Hayek also wrote that the state has a role to play in the economy, and specifically, in creating a "safety net"... " Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision."

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    Ironic that the EU who wants to take over and run the budgets for no less than 17 other countries just cannot get its own house in order.

    It also means keeping the population of those countries content and on side.


  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    You should read Austrian Economics, it explains why the NHS & other socialised programs force prices up & deliver poorer services/products. U should have insurance: for accidents!

    You seem to think that charity can't exist without Govt theft: Are you so cold or have such a low opinion of your fellow man?

    Re Romney, he is a corporatist which is what the USA system is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    my 254
    Sorry, "think" is missing
    This very Saturday at noontime I got heavy pain in one of my teeth, took a pill as first response and consulted the internet regarding the existence of an emergency dental service in my town.
    It existed and 2 hours later I drove back home, happily relieved from my pains and without having paid one cent ( EUROcent of course ).
    How happy I am to live in Austria.

  • rate this

    Comment number 261.

    With Germany much nearer to the Core of the issue and UK at the border;our fight might lead us to many confusions within us to suspect each other but we must understand that the fate has arranged it to allow us to win the War imposed upon us by the Anti-socials and evil elements available within us from all across the Globe. As an ordinary Citizen of the Globe,we can only Pray for its sucess

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.

    "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"

    I dont know if i should laugh or cry what next blue sky thinking. No wonder we are still in the toilet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 259.


    I don't understand you. You don't vote for Nigel because he's an ex banker elite, so you vote for the elites in the Labour Party? Unfortunately in a Democracy (a form of Govt open to exploitation) you need to prioritise your 'wants', and if the UK jumping clear of the EuroTitanic is urgent enough to your family, shouldn't you vote UKIP?

  • rate this

    Comment number 258.

    226. Rosetta

    In a Parliament of 754 seats how much opposition can 12 UKIP MEPs achieve?

    Labour tries to do the job with 257/650 in the House of Commons.

    UKIP is a wasted vote for angry pensioners, and a cosy job for Politicians who couldn't hack it in a Real Party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 257.

    @204 If the EU were to collapse tomorrow, Europe would still be where it always was. Aren't you confusing the EU with Europe? They are not the same.

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    @237. Rosetta
    ...and we were the ones that voted lib/dem to keep the Tories out and got burned for the privilege. We have also realised that it is time for our voices to be heard and that it is us that will change the future as everyone else seems to think that they can barter for a better life at our expense.
    You live and learn. Voting Libdem/small party will never keep the major parties out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 255.

    The differences in opinion is a good sign to consider that all are much concerned about the health of the Economy.The suggestion put forwared by UK look reasonable to implement.The spending with much caution is possibly offer us enough space to monuver.Our efforts must produce a result in our favor for the overall good of the entire Globe.Those who broke the internal order must face defeat.

  • rate this

    Comment number 254.

    What do You how we Austrians live?
    We have had a cuisine long before MacDonald's existed.

    What about those who do not earn enough to secure proper treatment in case of a fatal, unprovoked illness?
    You sound like Mitt Romney.

    You don't want a public health service but You are lamenting about the Germans not being altruistic when they define conditions for lending money to other countries?

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    RE:233. Harry Lime
    I look to Europe to save us, Cameron and Osborne can't.
    I look to superman to save us, Europe, Cameron and Osborne can't.
    Do you want to find your real saviour?
    Look in the mirror, no-one else cares what happens to you, because it would hurt their wallet and their selfish self-interest too much.

  • rate this

    Comment number 252.

    Haha yes I did. Touché. I didn't think anyone actually checked these links. Well done. Now I can't find the article grrr.... Nah well. It's also in a book at home which I'm not at and alas the stupid comments will close by the time I could find its details. Convenient excuse I know but it happens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 251.

    I'd like to see full costings on how they arrive at these figures. Because if it's just plucked out of thin air and they'll "work out how to spend it as they go" there will almost certainly be a shortfall after taking into account inefficiency, leeching and backhanders. If governments are inefficient even at a local level, just think how bad it is at the macro level.

  • rate this

    Comment number 250.

    Who says it is just UKIP voters who want out me my family and most of my friends vote labour not for ex banker elite Farage and we want of the elitist club the EU. So stop your stereotyping. My late dad was a socialist and he voted against in 1975 we just all want the same chance as he got.


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