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

    Comment number 188.

    186. SportsFan
    The UK shouldn't be involved at all in this debate as it is simply for the EU which the UK is still not member of.
    The UK are the Eu the rest are in the Eu+.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    @175. Jugster
    "every year taking away small pieces of our national liberty"

    The EU grants us greater liberty.. The liberty to reside, work trade and travel freely in and around our continent. Something previous generations could only dream of.

    Quit whinging and enjoy it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    The UK shouldn't be involved at all in this debate as it is simply for the EU which the UK is still not member of.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    Wait a minute there is a simple solution. If the population of Europe would vote more anti-EU MEP's into the parliament this would not happen, the parliament would be able to block the commission draft. So the people of Britain, France, Germany and all other member states are partly to blame for voting in pro-EU MEP's. This is coming from a European Federalist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    The income levels of our Eurocrats along with the 100 leading europeans supporting the Erasmus scheme, totally shield them from the economic realities affecting every family in Europe. Our household income has fallen 25% since 2008, we manage our budget accordingly. Reduce the EU budget and the big salaries and let them do the same.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    150 bangers64@
    And what are the benefits of UK leaving the EU? You have no idea what you're talking about. UK should leave it's biggest trading partner??? LOL...that's all I can say. Just laugh really!

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    173. Robert Eve
    Seeing the EU in a mess is even better than seeing Labour in a mess (I suppose).
    Yes, especially as it distracts from the mess this current mess of a government is leading us into.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    In the USA failure to get legislative endorsement of the budget results in a failsafe spending cut to protect the interests of the taxpayer.
    In the EU they just fall back on automatic budget inflators and keep on spending.

    No taxation without representation!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    the truly astonishing thing is that these people get paid to do this stuff. Most people - everyone I know - obtains money through doing work. Tiling, computing, building, hairdressing - you know, WORK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    "a coalition of the rapidly anti EU, knee jerk reactionaries join forces with the utterly ignorant to lambast the EU...."(sic)
    Bit inconvenient if this coalition of the rabid happens to be in the majority, but we will never know as the UK is denied a referendum, just in case democracy might rule.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    The EU is going in the wrong direction what we clearly need in reality if we ever wish to compete on the world stage a United States of Europe with a system simluar to the US republic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    I'm another former Erasmus student.

    It was a highly-enjoyable EU-funded 5 months of skiing most weekends, drinking too much, and - very occasionally - attending Stockholm University (where the lectures were in English).

    As I was a well-travelled 29-year old at the time I really can't say it did a single thing to 'enhance my understanding of other cultures', but it was a lot of fun!

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    670 million to Italy earthquake victims. Just for curiosity sake how much was sent to us for all the British who suffered catastrophic flooding? While agreeing student transfers can help youngsters what about the infrastructure of our schools that are literally falling down and preventing many from even hoping for such a chance to develop.

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    We joined the Common Market, because it made sense to be able to trade freely with European countries. We did not join the EU, no-one voted for it, this political monster has been forced on the population, every year taking away small pieces of our national liberty. Now is the time to say enough is enough and get out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    Whether you give your money to the EU, or even to your own Government, a lot of it will be wasted by the politicians on their pet projects so it is any wonder that people try and legally avoid paying tax wherever possible.

    Instead of demonising tax avoiders we should be championing them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    Seeing the EU in a mess is even better than seeing Labour in a mess (I suppose).

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    Yawn, this is just an establishment organised con, a common behaviour/practice.

    If a developer wants to build 500 houses, they often apply for 1000/2000 which is then disputed & original 500 is achieved, just as unions may want 3% wage rise they will put in for 5/6/7%.
    The EU does not want a cut & wants a minimum rise, the inflated £7 billion is just a pretence to achieve a "compromise" rise

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    This reveals just how stupid the EU can be!!! Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland etc..... Can they put 6.8% into the pot this year?
    It is obvious that to the EU managers.....that the world 'out there' is OK, hunky dory, fine, cosy. Idiots.
    Can you get brain transplants yet?

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    I want UK out of europe. I want Greece out of europe ! I dont want to pay for europe, who is happy to be blackmailed by the government and the people of Greece ! I want Germany refuses to give in greek demands ... x

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    Failure to agree on the 2013 budget is a major blow.Good house keeping requires fiscal discipline and fore-sight. In-fighting is bound to delay progress. The major problem is funding. The EU, Parliament had asked for 6.8% increase in spending for 2013 but most EU governments had asked for a budget rise of 6.8%. The clock is ticking! Agreement is proving elusive. Will it be reached?


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