EU budget talks for 2013 collapse

 
European Parliament President Martin Schulz - file pic British Conservative MEPs clashed with Martin Schulz over a 9bn euro request for 2012

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Talks to agree the EU's 2013 budget have collapsed, after negotiators from the EU and member states were unable to agree on extra funding for 2012.

The EU Commission and European Parliament had asked for a budget rise of 6.8% in 2013.

But most governments wanted to limit the rise to just 2.8%.

The failure of the talks will dent hopes of agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, which is up for discussion later this month, correspondents say.

Friday's dispute was over an extra 9bn euros (£7bn; $12bn) in "emergency funding" for 2012, to cover budgets for education, infrastructure and research projects.

But Germany, France and other governments questioned the funding, and eight hours of talks produced no agreement.

"Under these conditions, we felt that negotiations which hadn't really begun by six o'clock in the evening couldn't reasonably be expected to finish during the night," said the parliament's lead negotiator, Alain Lamassoure.

At the European parliament, UK Conservative MEPs clashed with Parliament President Martin Schulz, a German Social Democrat, over the extra 9bn euros shortfall for 2012.

In 2012 the budget was 129.1bn euros, a 1.9% increase on 2011.

'Life-changing experience'

Among the schemes facing a shortfall this year is the Erasmus student exchange programme.

It has allowed nearly three million young Europeans to study abroad since it was launched 25 years ago.

In an open letter to EU leaders on Friday more than 100 famous Europeans, including film directors and footballers, warned that "thousands could miss out on a potentially life-changing experience".

Friday's talks did produce a declaration of political will to provide 670m euros to earthquake victims in Italy, but no agreement on how to finance it, the European Parliament said.

It said that if no agreement on the 2013 budget could be reached in the next 21 days, the European Commission would look to revise its budget proposal.

The UK's Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Clark, said the EU needed to practise "fiscal discipline".

"The UK and a number of other countries were very clear from the outset that the Commission and the European Parliament should not be asking taxpayers for billions of extra euros when the spending in member states is being reduced," he said.

The UK government, led by the Conservatives, has also objected to a proposed increase in the multi-year budget for 2014-2020, threatening a veto if necessary.

An EU summit aimed at reaching a deal on that budget will be held on 22-23 November.

 

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  • rate this
    +85

    Comment number 8.

    Why would any sane Government agree to pay more to an organisation that hasn't had its booked audited for over a decade.

    Madness.

    Surely the ONLY countries allowed to debate this should be the net contributors of the EU.

    The takers should only be observers

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 7.

    nice idea, but quite obviously we cant make it work. Can we now just be grown -ups, put aside the self serving, and get out.

  • rate this
    +25

    Comment number 6.

    What a Joke the EU has not had a signed of Audit in years. If they want the increase they should find the 3.8% of error (not fraud!) they had in last years accounts that's nearly 5 billion euros that's this years increase sorted. When will the voters in Europe realise the EU Parliament is a con?

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 5.

    The EU must reduce its budget. For an organisation so used to wasting billions, this must come as a shock, but it has to be done. Financial discipline must replace lax, even corrupt, practices. Structured and operated along lines not much different from the former Soviet Union, the EU must change its ways or I can see further trouble for the euro and the beginnings of a break-up.

  • rate this
    +34

    Comment number 4.

    No surprise, the EU budget is out of control and unregulated. No audit, no increase!

  • rate this
    +111

    Comment number 3.

    6.8% increase ? Just what planet are these EU-crates on ?

    The EU is a monster that is way out of hand - it thinks economic rules simply don't apply to it. It just carries on regardless without a care in the world, treating the citizens of Europe with utter contempt.

    And are the UK and most other European Governments going to do about it ? Nothing by the looks of it.

  • rate this
    -32

    Comment number 2.

    The Coalition are, supposedly, more worried about credit ratings than anything else.......yet here they are busy scuppering a deal in Europe that will risk damaging every EU country's individual rating.....as with the US & the impasse between Congress & POTUS.....so are they not actually worried about credit ratings or too busy scoring cheap political points at home...???

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1.

    Much of the EU budget goes on pensions and entitlements for people who are not really helping the EU

    The Greek people should decide how much the EU is permitted

    The EU is a systemic failure built on an undemocratic bureaucracy



    Thank God for the English Channel

 

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