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 408.

    out now

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    The way I see it is th EU want more money from us so they can give it to the likes of Greece and Spain and Portugal. This money is then spent on the police for more tear gas and riot equipment all to stop the natives getting a say in how there respective countries are run.I dont pay taxes for that kind of thing. Its nothing short of a disgrace and people should hang there heads in shame.

  • rate this

    Comment number 406.

    One thing I ask is why it costs UK residents more to study over here than abroad, one of the very reasons that put me off from going to university when I finished sixth form.

    The EU isn't all bad but asking for a budget increase when many EU countries are trying to cutback spending is absurd. Germany wants Greece to make severe cuts yet the EU wants to raise the cost of membership by billions?

  • rate this

    Comment number 405.

    381. bungle99

    There is always a choice. You can buy products from anywhere in the world. You can invest in any country you choose. I always vote with my money.
    Which is why you don't care that your Ipad was made at the Apple suicide plant in China.

    Still if we adopt your approach, it'll be our children working in the suicide factories in decade or two and then we won't need to worry

  • rate this

    Comment number 404.

    I wouldn't have an issue with the 6.8% providing the EU tacked its waste but it has shown no interest in doing so. That no auditor has been willing to sign off its accounts for 18 years says everything about the state of the EU's finances and the contempt they have for EU members

    All over Europe Government's are having to trim budgets and get real about finances. Time for the EU to do the same.

  • rate this

    Comment number 403.

    The EU is imploding due to its sense of self importance and greediness. Enjoy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 402.

    385. stephen
    ..Red Ed must only be thing of his hopefull job in the EU when the British say NO to him at the next Election.
    Nobody (for obvious reasons) calls him Red any more.
    10% lead in the polls, so perhaps it'll be be your old Etonian chums out of office?
    Perhaps people dont like all their services being cut while shovelling cash in the pockets of top rate tax payers?
    PS Cleggy for EU.

  • rate this

    Comment number 401.

    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".

    no doubt these director and footballers are well over paid, they could help bay taking massize pay cuts

  • rate this

    Comment number 400.

    Amazing. Some EU member states are facing the reality of 25% unemployment, indebtedness beyond rational comprehension and this joke of an EU Commission/European Parliament are expecting billions in extra funding. Can they please explain where this money is going to come from? Perhaps they are collectively willing to take a pay cut to aid their goal?

  • rate this

    Comment number 399.

    Greece, according to the UK press in July 2010, has been in default since at least that date. And here we are discussing with other "better-off" EU members whether to give more money into the pot which will be used to bail out countries such as Greece. No, no, no!! Enough is enough. Chuck the bail-me-out nations out, and also those countries using the richer EU as a source for employment!

  • rate this

    Comment number 398.

    371.lrjj - Please God tell me you don't hold any type of maths qualification beyond that of CSE grade 5? €670 million distributed equally among 60 million people is roughly €11 per person.

  • rate this

    Comment number 397.

    Let us hope that reality is dawning in the EU at last. A budget cut of 5% each year for the next three years would be more in order. Thereafter if matters improve then it can be reviewed. If the UK decide to leave or have Associate Membership over that time they will have to rejig the budget anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 396.

    I'm fundamentally opposed to the centralisation of power and thus wish us to leave the EU. That said, the thing is imploding nicely on its own as it is, so the whole debate looks moot to me.
    With sovereignty wholly restored maybe then we could get to grips with our own gravy-trainers and perhaps begin the process of restoring government of the people, by the people, for the people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 395.

    It should be the duty of the Commission and the European Parliament to inform the European peoples why they call for this massive increase. They should be aware that an increase in the EU budget will follow further cuts in some national budgets. Every pound and every euro can only be spent once. How about a regrouping within the EU budget? This is not Euro-sceptic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 394.

    383.Maxwells Demon
    "UK government should withhold further payments to the EU until properly audited accounts are presented without qualification.
    To do that the EU needs fully audited account trail for every euro spent."
    I'm prepared to be reasonable - what about an error rate of 0.5% ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 393.

    Oh dear me intelligence has prevailed again! I've been moderated, It's a shame you cant't moderate your presenters & you have the audacity to charge me £145.50. DON'T PAY ANY EU BUDGET,GET OUT, English are Germanians, Anglo Saxons, check your Royal family back at 11am tomorrow.I am a thoroughbread Welshman.

  • rate this

    Comment number 392.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, the EU government want to increase the EU budget by 6.8%.
    In order to do that, it will tend to other people and expect the tax payer of medium to high income countries to just sit and say, "yea... no problem, we don't want our money" "here, on top of the god knows how much we pay already, here is another 6.8% increase."

    they havn't even been audited for so ages..

  • rate this

    Comment number 391.


    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.
    Quite right, and only the Telegraph are likely to investigate yet again.

    Shouldn't the BBC use our taxes to find out how we are being conned?

  • rate this

    Comment number 390.


    The undemocratic shambles that was the forcing through of NHS privatisation , the failure to regulate banks and Gideon's cosy bilateral agreements to shield tax evaders is ample testimony to the myths about EU power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 389.

    364. Z1A900
    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
    Were you saying this 5 years ago (before the bankster crash)? As I recall we couldnt get enough Polish and EU workers to feed the boom.
    Short memories.


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