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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  • Comment number 328.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    The EU is a gravy train with MEPs trousering obscene amounts of our money in false expense claims. It is a terrible shame there was not a harder push for the MEPs expenses to be investigated in the same way as our own parliamentarians. The fraud would bring down the whole organisation.
    We cant force an investigation into this it seems because we have already lost control to these thieves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    The USA is copying the EU.
    Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton (who hated each other), agreed at least that:
    the public treasury “becoming a public trough,” cautioning that when voters realise this, they will ‘only send to the government people who will only promise to bring back a bigger piece of the pie.

    Judge Napolitano

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    I wonder how much this jolly for the boys (and girlies) of the EU cost when everyone knew it was not going to achieve anything before it even started. Havent they heard of Skype?

    Then again they did decide to have another jolly, sorry meeting so worth every penny......

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    In some respects it would be good if the UK did leave the EU,then all the Euro skeptics would have nowhere to point the finger at and blame for all the problems.
    This is why successive governments have not given the UK a referendum,they know the UK would be worse off outside the EU,and without Europe to blame for everything,the focus would be on them,like it should be now.Europe is a distraction.

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    Shouldn't the BBC be making a far better effort to inform the UK public re. all aspects of the EU?

    It's quite unbelievable how much outright confusion and delusion there is in the anti-EU camp.

    All we get is negative reporting of eastern European immigrants and EU budgets, etc.

    Nothing re. our ability to travel freely nor the many ways we benefit individually & economically.

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    So everyone in Europe has to suffer austerity measures except the people who work in the EU who can spend as much as they want, and let me guess where the budget 'shortfall' for 2012 came from - disappeared into the pockets of all the eurocrats?.
    The brazen hypocrisy of these people is utterly staggering.

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    It will be very interesting to see if our PM really has the guts (and the skill) to take the EU to the wire and insist on a freeze - which seems to be the will of the people?

  • rate this

    Comment number 320.

    How anyone could expect so many nations with diverse interests and economies to agree on such a fundamental issue beats me.

    The EU has no conception of the value of money, or how it should be spent. The suppliers and agencies it deals with must rub their hands with glee every time an overpriced contract is awarded.

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    Had a two day visit to Strasbourg recently as a tourist. Not a long stay and not necessarily in the correct capacityI know, but the smell of cooked books was sufficiently strong for me to think that some very serious auditing needs to be done in these European corridors of power before budget requests can be nodded through. Sour grapes? Maybe, but many fellow citizens are having to eat them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 318.

    That's one of the problems with the EU. Too many languages!

    Which part of NO INCREASE don't they understand?

    Try this...pas d'augmentation, keine Erhöhung, geen verhoging van de, nessun aumento, ningún aumento, καμία αύξηση, nenhum aumento, без увеличение, padidinimas, etc.

    (Courtesy of Bing translator!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 317.

    So we are funding student travel to other countries but not tuition fees in our own country? Are you joking?

  • rate this

    Comment number 316.

    You've had a 1.2 trillion HEIST which has cost an entire generation their livelyhoods Your PM is giving more money away in overseas aid & imports of immigration. If you're worried about Europe GET OUT! WE don't want you, you can't control your Borders! You're ruled by 1% & you're delighted with it. Don't shovel what you can't eat! Check out your deals with India & Rwanda I'm off to watch Newsnight

  • rate this

    Comment number 315.

    #217 free movement of low paid labour in the EU affects me directly...theres an example. it prices british workers out of jobs
    What about the export of jobs to India? Or China? Or Korea? Or Mexico? Or Vietnam?

    Why doesn't the absurdity that is Farage "stand up" for the UK in relation to US influence - does he not regard our governments as spineless wimps happy with poodle status?

  • rate this

    Comment number 314.

    Are you saying we wont be able to buy a new Audi as Germany wont trade with us? It wont make any difference being out of the EU as we are a massive consumer nation with great buying power. People will fall over themselves to import to us, and as the norm there will be exports.

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    there should be no rise in the budget.

    rather there should be a cut.

    GB pays far too much as it is.

    there is plenty of waste and fraud to make savings on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    A Europhiles view on trade.'you little englanders cannot do without your EU Goods and will have to pay more for them, but the EU can do without British Goods because the EU can do without'.A slightly distorted view and not how the real world actually works. Firstly, people don't buy UK goods out of charity, and secondly, we have a trade dificit with the EU, so 'trade war' away, you will lose.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 311.

    @292.Maxwells Demon

    When the auditors can't even sign off
    A myth, The EU budgets have been signed off,, there is however a higher level of signing off, higher than UK government uses...

    They have FAILED AUDIT! Can you not understand this simple fact!

  • rate this

    Comment number 310.

    Now i'm getting annoyed, what is this joke of the EU.

    What is this, who are they?

    Rich, posh Barroso?

    Our politcian's' are liars and now we being fed from more rubbish politics to keep the entire EU afloat?

    Sure don't punish the banks, let the politics get in between justice, or shall we all have 'bunga, bunga party?'

    Shame on them all, street posts are too good for them to be hung from.

  • rate this

    Comment number 309.

    When the U.K. joined up to the E.U. the government of the day made a massive fundamentle mistake...They never consulted us the people on such a step which would effect all our lives . Am I right ? We were never asked . With me that simple fact continues to leave a very nasty taste in my mouth . So what's all this about us living in a so called democracy- eh ??


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