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 348.

    So the EU are wanting more money from us all? I am not an economist but I can see that if the economy of (say) the UK is contracting the status quo on our contribution would still be the equivalent of a budgetary increase for the UK. The budget of the EU should be contracted by the rate of the European average.
    Will that happen? Of course not- will someone please ask them why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 347.

    #302 Trout
    There is certainly much concern with the eu's direction, but the reactions are many and varied.
    Stating untruths with authority and intent to deceive, also labelling anyone not with the programme as ukips seem to be the standard tactic from of the 11th president's footsoldiers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 346.

    If someone can get me a job in Brussels I'll be pro EU otherwise I'm anti. I was in favour of the common market but that's no longer what we have. I fail to understand why so many of our politicians , of all parties, are quite happy to go along with an unelected commission that has the power to rule our lives while at the same time pushing to make the Lords ,elected.

  • rate this

    Comment number 345.

    I'm damn sure this debate on the bbc.. HYC

    Is composed of Tories, & the far right, and the pathetic left wing.

    in some kind of mind trouble, like chess?

    Let me tell you this, we the people are sick to death of it, i care for my family i care for my people, now you have really angered me

    Who's paying your wages?

    When we find out, you will end up like them, political cowards begging.

  • rate this

    Comment number 344.

    327 Ppuj
    yes like the fraud investigation of expenses bought down our own polititians?..... no it would just lead to ANOTHER CORRUPT ELITE COVER UP

  • rate this

    Comment number 343.

    So what you are saying is the average UK person is less qualified then a politician to weigh up the facts and decide what suits the nation best. I guess you are a civil servent. Given that most politicians have no business pedigree and are straight from Uni to politics types means that they are the least qualified to decide for the public.Most CEO's wouldn't hire one that tells you something.

  • rate this

    Comment number 342.

    The EU has no idea of the actual value of the money.

    A much more productive coversation would be about proving the need for the funding it already receives.

    The EU should be audited NOW.

    In the meantime it's budget should be FROZEN untill all its spending has be scrutinized and justified.

    The EU is Greece by another name and will bleed us all dry if we let it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    305. mygod

    What has the EU done for you lately?!
    Reduced my mobile phone roaming charges.
    Also, when the toothless UK tax payer funded quango, the Air Users Council proved utterly useless, EU law provided me with the means to take an airline to court when it cancelled my flight and left me stranded because of "unforseen technical difficulties" ie crew were out of hours.

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    Don't see the need for the Erasmus thing - if it's going to pick the pockets of the poor taxpayer. The long summer vacation
    has always given students plenty of opportunity to travel and 'experience other cultures' . Just an expensive ploy to try to indoctrinate a pseudo EU loyalty at an early age.. Like the distribution of crown of thorns branded pencil cases to school children...

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.

    we arent european anymore there are all sorts in england not just europeans

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    Most of the pro-EU comments on here are not from British Citizens anyhow...why am I not surprised. Even on a British Site, you still have to stick your EU oar in...Your arguements are based veiled threats of being Ignored by the EU, thinking that the EU is Europe..Mistake number one, It Isn't!... and you have nothing positive to add, good day!, and good bye!...

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    Really? what about funding Scottish students at English universities but not English students at Scottish universities!

    anyway having worked with Erasmus students I think it is a brilliant scheme that can really benefit all concerned, be a shame to lose that point of contact with our European friends.

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    The claim the EU is trying to increase its budget whilst all or the majority of member States are cutting theirs is not true. in 2012, 24 out of the 27 states have increased public spending, in most cases because the austerity they're imposing doesn't work. That's not in itself a justification for an increase in the EU budget but the actual claim being made about members cutting is not true

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.


    You may bark and spit as much as you like, but the EU is here to stay.


    Can you let me know tonight's lottery numbers from your crystal ball?

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    On one side of the world the growth of China and eastern economies continues at pace and here in Europe we are mired in bureaucracy , committees , waste and social welfare . The EU budget is largely spent on farm subsidies and questionnable infrastructure ..not jobs , not business or competitiveness . The euro is a disaster , democracy has suffered , we should go our own way .

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    But since this coalition is borrowing more, if they give money to the EU budget, does that mean we are giving it borrowed money?
    Borrowing more to give more that was borrowed away?
    Or will there be great returns to make this idea sensible?
    Just asking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    302.Trout Mask Replica
    "Having now established that what the Europhobes mean by "out" is ... higher prices for UK consumers."
    Ha Ha! I well remember the arguments back when. Cars and computers in the US cost dollar for pound - join and prices will fall.
    Well a zillion free lunches (and freedoms surrendered) later and guess what?
    They're still dollar for pound !

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    I smell the usual con trick.
    Ask for an unrelistic exorbitant figure of 6.8%
    Let us all be shocked, take a breather, settle for a much lower figure and govts can then claim to be playing hardball with the EU.
    Just how dumb do they take us for !
    Only a reduced amount will show me we are all in it together.

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    We should just say we aren't paying them anything at all.

    Who do they think they are having the cheek to ask for an increase whilst preaching austerity...

    The EU is a waste of money and space. End of. We should leave now,


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