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 208.

    The EU reminds me of that Carry On film when they are all sitting around having dinner while the building is collapsing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    197. Alan

    The EU is corrupt, undemocratic & rotten to the core. Let the British people have there say, In or Out of this madness.
    Barclays, A4e, HSBC, NHS privatisation (risk register?), Leveson /Fox News fiasco, Offshore tax cheats, compromised HMRC, decriminalisation of fraud.........

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    When the auditors can't even sign off what has been done with the money they've already had they've got a brass neck to even suggest asking for such a way above inflation rise. Probably to allow them to entertain more and line their own pockets for retirement as they know pension pots are being destroyed for the rest of us. Just hoope our lot won't be bullied in later talks but not too hopeful

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    What, apart from uncontrolled immigration that is set to expand massively to new countries over the next few years, does Great Britain benefit from the EU? We pay in a fortune to support struggling countries, get nothing back apart from people taking our jobs.....and still they want MORE money. It should be an Economic Community for trade only, not laws / migration or subsidies. Referendum?

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    The EU is perfect for little country who on their own wouldnt have a voice in the world, thats Us!!! get over it and accept it!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    I am normally quite pro-EU, despite the popular view; the UK does a lot of trade within the EU and we do get some inward invetsment benifits as a result of our membership. However; on this the EU Parliment is living in a dream world.
    I think we should be absolutly clear; if the membership fee increases at this time, then it is only democratic that we have to suspend payment pending a referendum.

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.

    I think I will try that one on the tax man in January.

    The rules are to strict so I haven’t bothered with accounts this year but I don’t owe you any tax."

    Why not. Seems to work for Vodafone, JPMC and many other companies and rich individuals. Indeed, I would estimate the tax lost from such deals to far exceed the cost of "4%" of irregularities in the EU budget audits.

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

    Hopefully this latest demand by the monolithic and undemocratic EU will open the blinkered eyes of the pro EU lobby to the fact that Britain is suffering financially because of the profligate activities of a few unelected beureaucrats in Brussels. Methinks 'tis time we regain control of our sovereignty and get out NOW!

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    I think this is all posturing to avoid a reduction in the EU budget - which is appropraite when all the EU countries are reducing their budgets, why should the EU budget increase at all?

    Basically they ask for an unthinkable increase of 6.8%, argue till talks collapse and no agreement can be made and get what they are willing to accept - the 2.9% increase that is automatic without an agreement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    Referendum ...... NOW

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    One of the main causes for the present fiscal debacle is the, far too early by those who want a United States of Europe, introduction of the euro. This has prevented member countries managing their own economies after the banking crisis, which also exposed overspending by profligate governments. If the eurocrats get anything other than a cut in their salaries, it will be a reward for failure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    The EU is corrupt, undemocratic & rotten to the core. Let the British people have there say, In or Out of this madness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    They could give me a life changing experience !
    As an unemployed 59 year old, having made 450 job applications in 3 months, £200 should do it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    I say give them nothing and ask for a rebate
    this country needs to get away from that pariah called the EU.
    if we ever get the chance to vote our way out of it I will grab it with both hands and I suggest you all do too

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    Whose running this thread?
    Rip van winkle?

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Whilst it is totally incorrect to have such large rises in EU contributions, I do sometimes wonder if the UK gets as much as it can out of the agreement. When discussing HS2, Justine Greening looked completely nonplussed when asked by Maria Eagle if she had explored funding from the EU. Do we try to be too independent and not explore all the funding available to us?

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.


    Just as UK austerity reduces UK GDP by 150% so most probably will austerity at and EU level.

    Be careful what you wish for - you may just get it!

    (The USA is about to hit a fiscal cliff with a 4% drop in GDP. If we in the EU do the same then where will the growth come from to create jobs?)

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    I am a declared Europhile.

    But I think it is a sound experience for the EU to be forced to limit the expenses, as most member countries are cutting their national budgets.

    As far as Britain is concerned, I think she will leave.
    Public opinion will force that in the end.
    Sad for me, but true.

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    I attended Leiden University in Holland through Erasmus. The EU gave me a grant of £400 to cover travel and the difference in living costs compared to UK. My rent was a 3rd of what I paid in Oxford, living costs were much lower, and my return flight cost £80. At the end of my exchange the EU wrote to me saying there was 'money left over in the pot' and gave me a further £150! What a waste

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    It does not bode well for the upcoming long term budget.

    The Rebels and Labour may well have done him (and us) a favour by showing that the majority will not tolerate a rise in the EU budget whilst we see our own services and support cut to the bone.


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