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 608.

    "Tio Terry
    I would be quite happy for National Governments to use independant auditors"

    But until we reach that nirvana why do you single out the EU as requiring them when national governments clearly think they don't need them? Would you be happy if the EU audit requirements were relaxed to those of national governments if they all then agreed to use "independent" auditors?

  • rate this

    Comment number 607.

    Come on, all the nonsense about this budget, audits, your faux frighteners about UK trade are simply diversions.
    At heart most British people are well aware of the benefit of trading agreements; they just have a visceral hatred of the idea of a layer of eu federal parasites above our own. And in Europe, too.
    Our eu neighbours are well used to domination.
    We're not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 606.

    DC might get no return from EU budget talks and not much say in the next 2 years.
    However, he can always produce his trump card at the next election - vote con vote out of EU

    4 more years in power - master stroke.

  • rate this

    Comment number 605.

    Seems that the countries who are paying want to reduce, or at least freeze, the budget. And not surprisingly those who are receiving want it to increase. The EU is damned (and possibly doomed) by allowing new members to join who could only take, not give.

  • rate this

    Comment number 604.

    RE 599

    As well as Tony Benn, David Stoddart, Bob Crow and many others from the left. There was a similar agreement when Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill faced the Nazis. It is possible that sensible people can agree across the political divide when the future of our country is under threat. (and no I am not saying that the EU is a Nazi plot before some Europhile accuses me of that)

  • rate this

    Comment number 603.

    In these times of austerity, when many are facing static or reduced wages, where Govmnt depts and public bodies are cutting staff, where people cannot keep up with rising food and fuel prices, when we are "all in it together", why does the EU Commission think they have a right to an increase in funding.

    I would urge everyone reading here to write to their MEP to ask this very pertinent question.

  • rate this

    Comment number 602.

    Not one penny should be paid to the EU until they can produce audited accounts. If they were a proper company, the Police would have been called in and they would be shut. If you heard that a company that you were investing in were involved with high levels of fraud, would you continue to pay money in? Of course not.

  • rate this

    Comment number 601.

    "Concerned Citizen
    Are you honestly saying that Germany would risk UK import duties being charged on Mercedes and BMWs' biggest european export market?"

    No, because the UK electorate wouldn't accept them. They'd still want to buy German cars and white goods as now. However the French electorate would not be upset if French customs imposed delays and costs on UK exports of Hondas, Toyotas etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 600.

    @583. Adam

    The EPP is in favour of a federal Europe (It comprises of conservative, liberals and christian democrats)

    The conservative party (ECR) cannot align themselves with the EPP because it is against the idea of a federal Europe. It doesnt mean though that they cannot side with the EPP on certain issues.

    In fact this fight was EPP & ECR vs Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

  • rate this

    Comment number 599.

    532 Colin Bullen - You and Nigel Farage and a lot of Tory MPs obviously have similar views then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 598.

    591.Concerned Citizen
    581 Trout Mask Replica
    Are you honestly saying that Germany would risk UK import duties being charged on Mercedes and BMWs' biggest european export market?
    Mate, you're wasting your breath.

    This oft-peddled lie is the mainstay of the EUphile.

    Anyone with a brain knows it is utter nonsense, but the pro-EU argument is nugatory without it, so it is frequently trotted out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 597.

    I wish President Andrew Jackson was my MEP!"

    Well, I'm sure we can dig up plenty of other corpses that would do just as good a job.

    Selecting historical quotes might make you feel good, but we need solutions for a 21st century globalised, technological economy not one of largely localised agrarian and partly slave economy.

    Try reading Rawls:

  • rate this

    Comment number 596.

    Re 543 and 581

    No, we can't both be right and naturally I believe that we 'old, working class socialists' are right. It is hardly my fault if many choose to believe that the EU is a socialist plot when it isn't. Do you think a real socialist would support what is being done to the Greeks and others in the name of preserving the Euro. Look at the website of LESC to see the real truth from the left

  • rate this

    Comment number 595.

    Its funny there are numerous laws in place to protect consumers against shoddy goods.But there is no recourse to paying taxes and getting sub standard poor quality service.My advice is to look at ways that you can mitigate your tax bill.Then you wont worry when you see these budgets rise announcements.Old peeps here put your house in trust and buy WP bonds.Free care home then like the Scottish

  • rate this

    Comment number 594.

    587. John
    Thank you for replying in a logical way. It is a bit of a novelty when talking about the EU.
    However, I am not equating those who dont like the EU to those who murdered and persecuted Jews throughout history. What I am saying is that they don't like facts. E.G., when I post that Switzerland pays contributions to the EU (a fact) they rate it down. Other people denied there were poor jews

  • rate this

    Comment number 593.

    "568. Bastiat
    Ur sentence describes exactly the EU bankers"

    I thought you strongly advocated personal responsibility, but you appear to excuse the Greeks from taking responsibility for the decisions that they alone took for themselves.

    "Europhiles are such miserable creatures!"

    You clearly need to read more of the Eurosceptic/phobic posts then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 592.

    Pleased to see you felt it was sufficiently wrong that you gave it back after they insisted on giving it to you when you said no thanks, oh hang on you took it. This makes you of lesser morals than a dole claimant handing back an overpayment to the post office as I saw happen same bloke on 4 occasions who was in front of me when I got my pension.

  • rate this

    Comment number 591.

    581 Trout Mask Replica
    Are you honestly saying that Germany would risk UK import duties being charged on Mercedes and BMWs' biggest european export market?
    German exports to us (as does the rest of the EU as a whole) more than we export to them.
    If we go they will do a deal to our mutual advantage.
    Leaving is no big deal but it does save money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 590.

    588.Trout Mask Replica

    I would be quite happy for National Governments to use independant auditors, I thought that was implicit in what I think of independant audit of the EU. My concern is that, like the EU, the government of the day would seek to limit the scope and actions of any audit body and therefore remove the independance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 589.

    @483. Andy_Pandy1968: I wouldn't bother trying to understand, just leave it to those who do, OK?


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