European press's weary resignation to EU summit failure

UK Prime Minister David Cameron Image copyright AFP
Image caption UK Prime Minister David Cameron has warned against "unaffordable spending"

Commentators throughout Europe cast a jaundiced eye on the failure of the Brussels summit to reach agreement on the EU budget for 2014-2020. Many feel that the stalemate is symptomatic of an unbridgeable gulf within the union.


Jean-Jacques Mevel in Le Figaro

Divided along North-South lines, the Europeans will now have to start practically from scratch at a second extraordinary summit "at the beginning of next year". The failure of this meeting of the twenty-seven, which was supposed to set the budgetary course until 2020, has an immediate victim: Europe.


Though this failure tarnishes the image of Europe, the heads of state and government have all sought to play down the consequences. But under the cover of anonymity, the members of the delegations did not hide their anxiety… They will all now try to justify the failure of the summit. For David Cameron, it is a victory. He did not budge on any point.


Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The fault for the talks' failure does not just lie with the stubbornness - let's just call it that - of the British. So many interests clashed in Brussels that a compromise would have been a minor miracle… The EU really cannot afford this failure at the moment. It is to be hoped that the time until the talks resume will be used to clarify exactly what the 27 states of the union consider to be important.

Albrecht Maier in Der Tagesspiegel

Margaret Thatcher snubbed her European partners because she did not want to hand over a single penny more than necessary to Brussels. Now, Europe is in a deep financial crisis [and] so all of the net contributors are now following Thatcher's example… That applies first of all to David Cameron, of course, but also to Angela Merkel.

Peter Riesbeck in Frankfurter Rundschau

Cameron lost - or at least overreached himself. No one wants a "Brixit" - a British exit from the EU - but sympathy [for Britain] is waning. And Europe? Is there no hope? Yes, there is. The talks were held in a calm manner, and there is still time for a compromise. In this respect, the failure offers an opportunity as well. The fierce fighting over money is making Europe's states realise how much they depend on each other.


La Repubblica

The European summit in Brussels has ended in stalemate over the EU budget. The gulf between hawks and doves, between supporters of the hard-line tendency (led by Great Britain) and the Mediterranean countries is too wide.

La Stampa

The failure of the summit … was the result of the multiple fractures created within the EU, in particular the position adopted by Great Britain and the failure of the Franco-German axis to rise to the occasion.

Gianni Riotta in La Stampa

The distance between the two factions amounted to 30 billion euros: a lot, but was it really so impossible to bridge that gap?... No one expects impossible panaceas from a summit, but millions of citizens could have been given some indication that at least their concerns were being listened to.


La Vanguardia

Two clear blocs have been formed in Brussels. Those who pay and those who receive. There will be a new summit early in 2013, but we need to prepare for it carefully in order to avoid another disagreement that would jeopardise the European project itself.

Claudi Perez in El Pais

Merkel didn't want to isolate the UK further… Berlin, aware that the Berlin-Paris axis is at a low ebb, knows that it may need London at some point.

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