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 368.

    352 Matt Maeshall...

    But the accounts are audited, under extremely strict guidelines ( mostly legal terms and definitions )...wholly unlike national governments..

    Read this link, it gives some insight..then possibly if you wish , google around on how strict the audit contast to say, how UK or US audits its nations books..

  • rate this

    Comment number 367.

    The EU has been very good at setting internal product standards, forcing all member states to comply, thus establishing a huge market into which those on the outside can sell, while protecting their home markets with their own standards. EU manufacturers find it convenient to build for the huge home market. Net result, a massive outflow of capital from the EU to the rest of the world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 366.

    I see the EU now as a self-propagating virus which has forgotten that it was there to represent the millions of EU citizens. It seems only interested in its own survival - at whatever cost to the taxpayers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 365.

    The nature of politics means that even within the same group there will be disagreements. However the whole is better than the individual and the whole allows for difference.
    In terms of the "little englander" people, their view is individual and do as we say ditator style.
    it is why they don't like the idea od people working together for a common good.

  • rate this

    Comment number 364.

    Coming back from work , 3 young 20+ sat near me, all very articulate and enthusiastic, As there conversation went on it was obvious all of them were struggling to find work.I felt so sorry for them.
    The EU needs to go. The job here should be for people that live here.
    We can give handouts later when our own house is in order.

  • rate this

    Comment number 363.

    The UK government should withhold further payments to the EU until properly audited accounts are presented without qualification. The EU is financially illegal under UK company law

    Then so is the UK because its accounts haven't been signed off to the highest EU standard of signing off - not once, ever in the whole of history. The DWP accounts haven't been signed off for 10 years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 362.

    @ joevl, yes and Salmond would very much like to continue that state of affairs.As the post below reminds us,Salmond used the very term Scotland is 'EU territory'.So is it being part of the UK that he finds offensive-obviously its not so much independence he seeks,as to WHOM Scotland is dependent.Oh yes, a true Braveheart,I'm sure blue and yellow would make a striking kilt design.

  • rate this

    Comment number 361.

    Here comes the next Tory U-Turn.

  • rate this

    Comment number 360.

    The simple thing to do would be to have an in out vote. Whatever the outcome we should all be fully commited. If we stay in we give it 100% and embrace all that the EU has to offer and become more influential. It its a no vote we get on with establishing UK interets home and abroad. Invest all the money we give away on a better Britain. Vote now!

  • rate this

    Comment number 359.

    Like all bureacracies, the EU is always looking to expand and spend more of other peoples' money. And without ever seriously addressing the fact that its own accounts are so bent that they haven't passed audit in nearly 2 decades. Add to that all the money wasted on CAP and they shouldn't receive another penny.

  • rate this

    Comment number 358.

    Are you saying he acted unconstitutionally or are you niffed because democratic choices didn't go your way?
    No to the first question.

    Not sure to the second one? Niffing is unfamiliar territory.

    What I would say, is that Super Pacs, Goldman Sachs, AIPAC and billionaires like the Koch Bros undermine constitutional process to the extent that it is cosmetic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 357.

    The eu has disenfranchised us all! After the uk and europe fought for democracy and enlightenment and equality- it has given us a dictatorship paid for by the hardship of europeans. Stop this now. All europeans and the Uk, please stop this sinister dictatorship. Luckily, nobody wants to foot the not passed by auditors bill- so it's self destructing anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 356.

    Because us 'xenophobes' would like to be able to vote on which government is accountable for the other 75% of legislation we recieve"

    Except this is not true. Less than 10% comes from the EU:

    And rules on banana labeling manifestly don't have the same impact on us as (say) tripling of student fees or reforming pensions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 355.

    Hasn't anyone told these people that there is no money? EU expansion will have to wait until we can afford it again. "Cloud cuckoo" land comes to mind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 354.

    321. gagandave
    330. paul
    Sadly Labour agreed that if there was dissent regarding an increase in the budget it would automatically increase by 2% with no further debate.
    The labour party are very good at signing our money away and are the reason we are in this financial mess right now.
    They should not be allowed to be in charge of even a sweet shop.

  • rate this

    Comment number 353.

    Patronising attitude from such as Trotski Mask Rep,who refuse to readacknowledge or even consider EU operational problems is exasperating.Utterly blinkered,they cant be persuaded because they dont want to be.Whats even more offensive is the patronising implication that because you dont believe its in UK interest to be an 'EU territory',as Salmond considers Scotland,its because 'we dont understand'

  • rate this

    Comment number 352.

    I propose EU funding is reduced by 5% every year until they produce audited accounts. Once those have been produced we consider whether an increase is justified based on what these accounts tell us. NO negations on funding take place until that happens. Simple.

  • rate this

    Comment number 351.

    Recently the UK govt has reduced aid to India. The UK is a significant net contributor to the EU budget. If it's right to cut aid to India surely it's even more right to cut aid to Italy etc.

    This system is aid to less prosperous EU regions dressed up in politically correct code to save national pride etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 350.

    At times like this EU seems to remind me of a spoiled child who keeps asking their parents for more and more money, assuming its infinite and with no real understanding that they had to work for it in the first place and that times are tough all over, despite being virtually surrounded by the information...

  • rate this

    Comment number 349.

    The UK government should withhold further payments to the EU until properly audited accounts are presented without qualification. The EU is financially illegal under UK company law.


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