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Government optimism leads to missed budget targets

17.12.14 @ 18:26

EU governments are too optimistic about their economic prospects and their ability to control public spending, leading to them continually missing their budget targets, a European Commission paper has argued. In its ...

EU to set out growth pact flexibility in new year

16.12.14 @ 20:06

The European Commission will present guidelines in early 2015 explaining how much flexibility governments will be allowed to increase investment and still keep within the EU’s rules on government debt and deficit levels ...

Ghost airports drain EU taxpayers' money

16.12.14 @ 18:18

Twenty EU-financed airports in Estonia, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain have misspent large sums of EU taxpayers' money for well over a decade. A report out Tuesday (16 December) by the European Court of Auditors found ...

Eurozone ministers face new Greek budget battle

08.12.14 @ 09:29

Eurozone finance ministers will face a race against time to resolve the latest disagreement over Greece's spending plans and agree a short-term extension to its bailout program as they gather in Brussels on Monday (8 ...

AgendaEU commissioners sworn in this WEEK

08.12.14 @ 09:19

EU lawmakers enter the 11th hour of budget negotiations as European commissioners and President Jean-Claude Juncker swear an oath to respect fundamental rights this Week. As Belgian trade unions on Monday kick off ...

Unpaid bills main hurdle in EU budget talks

03.12.14 @ 18:04

Britain and the Netherlands no longer have a problem with the extra money they have to pay, but EU budget talks are still stuck due to disagreements on how to tackle a huge backlog of unpaid bills. "For the first time ...

France lowers deficit forecast, vows no new taxes

03.12.14 @ 17:38

France's finance minister cut the country's deficit forecast for 2015 on Wednesday (3 November) adding that Paris will be well within the EU's 3 percent limit by 2017. Michel Sapin told a press conference that he had ...

OpinionJuncker’s shadow Bank

02.12.14 @ 09:10

The European economy is still stalling despite a never-ending flow of inventive policy-making by the European Central Bank and other public authorities to replace private credit flows with public ones. The latest ...

AgendaTusk takes over from Van Rompuy this WEEK

28.11.14 @ 17:34

Former Polish PM Donald Tusk in a handover ceremony on Monday (1 December) officially takes over as EU Council chief, while his predecessor, Belgium’s Herman Van Rompuy steps down. Rompuy is set to teach an EU " ...

France gets three months to tweak budget

28.11.14 @ 16:20

EU economics commissioners on Friday (28 November) defended "political" reasons for giving France more time to fix its budget deficit, while urging Germany to spend more in an attempt to revive the eurozone economy. The ...

EU commission proposes €141bn budget in last-minute talks

28.11.14 @ 16:01

The European Commission has presented revised spending plans in a bid to broker an 11th-hour deal between MEPs and ministers on the bloc’s 2015 budget. The new draft budget announced on Friday (28 November) by the EU ...

French and German economies must come closer, experts say

28.11.14 @ 13:18

Failure by the eurozone’s largest economies, traditionally EU allies, to act together risks plunging the currency bloc into a “stagnation trap” a report published Thursday (November 27) by Henrik Enderlein, of Germany's ...

France, Italy, Belgium to get extra three months on deficit and debt

27.11.14 @ 20:01

The EU commission on Friday (28 November) is set to give France, Italy and Belgium three more months to implement deficit-and-debt cutting measures or face fines. It is the first time the commission splits its verdict ...

OpinionCommon European investment programme needed

26.11.14 @ 18:30

Investments had to make it to the top of agenda sooner or later. Low growth, deflation risks, high unemployment, and decreasing investments levels indicate that something is still wrong. The diagnosis and policy ...

Member states owe EU over €320bn

25.11.14 @ 18:49

EU internal budget auditors say member states will need to fork out an additional €326 billion to finance their on-going EU-funded projects over the coming years. The European Court of Auditors, in a report out on ...

EU still undecided on France deficit

24.11.14 @ 09:22

Fiscal hawks and doves within the EU commission and member states continue to disagree on how to deal with France's budget deficit, seen as a credibility test for the EU. A meeting of heads of cabinets of EU ...

German commissioner provokes French wrath

21.11.14 @ 18:11

German commissioner Guenther Oettinger has drawn ire from French politicians after urging budget rigour and calling France a "deficit recidivist", in an op-ed published in French daily Les Echos on Thursday (20 November ...

Netherlands to pay EU top-up bill this year

21.11.14 @ 16:34

The Netherlands is paying its extra EU bill, a net payment of €642 million, before the end of 2014, well ahead of the extended deadline of 1 September 2015. Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told Dutch media that ...

Ministers face new battle over next year's EU budget

13.11.14 @ 19:04

Finance ministers will meet in Brussels on Friday (14 November), as EU lawmakers face yet another race against time to seal agreement on the bloc's spending plans. The main item on the agenda will be to broker a ...

Brussels offers interest-free delays for EU budget top-ups

12.11.14 @ 19:09

EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva announced on Wednesday (12 November) a proposal which will allow countries like the UK and the Netherlands more time to pay their EU bills. The proposal will give them more ...

UK, Netherlands get nine extra months to pay EU bill

07.11.14 @ 17:40

EU finance ministers on Friday (7 November) extended until 1 September 2015 a deadline for contributions to the EU budget, given the "unusually" high corrections this year. The corrections are made automatically each ...

Low expectations on UK bill compromise

07.11.14 @ 09:25

EU finance ministers are meeting on Friday (7 November) amid low expectations of clinching a deal that would allow the UK and the Netherlands to pay their outstanding bills to the EU budget in instalments. The UK has a ...

Auditors refuse to sign off EU spending for 20th year in a row

06.11.14 @ 09:28

Almost €7 billion of the EU budget was illegally spent in 2013, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) revealed on Wednesday (5 November), as it declined to sign off EU spending for the 20th consecutive year. Although the ...

'Political' commission starts work with nod to past

03.11.14 @ 16:42

The new European Commission started work Monday (3 November) amid promises to be more political by making commissioners defend new laws to the public. President Jean-Claude Juncker, a veteran EU politician who regularly ...

AgendaJuncker commission starts this WEEK

31.10.14 @ 18:39

The new European Commission headed by president Jean-Claude Juncker kicks off for the first time this week while MEPs return to Brussels from their constituencies to discuss climate change and finance ministers gather ...

France offers new cuts to meet Brussels' demands

28.10.14 @ 09:25

France and Italy outlined extra measures to cut their budget deficits on Monday as they backed away from a full scale confrontation with the European Commission. French finance minister Michel Sapin announced new ...

InterviewJuncker's €300bn is beginning of 'fiscal union'

27.10.14 @ 09:26

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's €300 billion investment plan is laying the ground for a fiscal union although no one dares call it such yet, according to a top EU official. Laszlo Andor, in charge of ...

EUobservedWhen two worlds collide

27.10.14 @ 09:19

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission. From the get-go it was a vaguely ridiculous affair. There was ...

Cameron vows to reject €2 billion EU bill

24.10.14 @ 16:16

UK prime minister David Cameron has vowed to oppose "in every way possible" the extra €2.1 billion EU budget bill, which he said was "completely unjustified and unacceptable", in a row that dominated the second day of a ...

Cameron slapped with new €2bn EU bill

24.10.14 @ 09:47

David Cameron was presented with a new bill for €2.1 billion by the European Commission on Thursday (23 October) as he endured another embarrassing setback in the EU capital. The UK prime minister was told at Thursday's ...

Barroso clashes with Italy over published budget warning

23.10.14 @ 15:32

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has hit out at Italy for publishing a letter the commission sent asking Rome to justify its budget for 2015. "It was a unilateral decision by the Italian government to ...

EU fiscal rules won't be changed, says Juncker

22.10.14 @ 19:55

The EU's rules on debts and deficits will not be re-written, Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs in his first speech as European Commission president. “The rules will not be changed,” said Juncker, whose team was backed by ...

New accounting rules save EU deficit

21.10.14 @ 18:01

Budget deficits in the EU were within the limits set out in the bloc's stability pact in 2013 thanks to changes to accounting rules, the bloc's statistical agency Eurostat revealed on Tuesday (21 October). Eurostat ...

Sex and drugs drive EU growth surge

17.10.14 @ 09:23

Ask a politician in any EU country what they would give for an extra 2 percent on their nation's economic output without any policy changes, and you are likely to be offered a couple of limbs and a body part. Yet ...

Ministers play down French budget row

14.10.14 @ 09:28

EU finance ministers played down the prospect of a row with France at their monthly meeting on Monday (13 October), but insisted that the bloc's rules on budget deficits and debts had to be respected. Speaking with ...

Polish female economists: Apply now for EU job

02.10.14 @ 19:14

Interested in working for the European Union? Your best bet is if you are a Polish woman with a degree in economics or finance. That is, if the next commissioner for budget and human resources, Kristalina Georgieva ...

French EU commissioner to share powers on national budgets

30.09.14 @ 17:52

EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici will have to share his powers on national budgets with fiscal hawk and commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis. According to a letter sent by Jean-Claude Juncker to MEPs ...

EU budget running low on funds, commission warns again

17.07.14 @ 20:36

The European Commission has warned that it is running out of money again in the latest stand-off between the EU institutions over its unpaid bills. The EU executive says that the bloc’s budget faces payment gaps worth € ...

EU to revisit budget rules by year's end, says Eurogroup chief

20.06.14 @ 09:26

The European Commission and government ministers will re-assess the bloc’s rules on deficit and debt limits by the end of 2014, the eurozone’s lead official has said. But Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who ...

OpinionThe small price of democracy

17.06.14 @ 17:40

The Portuguese constitutional court recently rejected government spending cuts for the sixth time. In June 2012, the court stated that since a plan to limit extra holiday and Christmas pay was targeted only at public ...

EU must do 'more with less' in 2015

11.06.14 @ 18:54

Europe will have to do more with less, the bloc’s budget commissioner said Wednesday (11 June) as he unveiled the EU’s spending plans for 2015. The plans are worth €142.1 billion, up by €1.3 billion on projected ...

AnalysisFrance falls victim to EU's economic powers

03.06.14 @ 09:39

Being singled out for censure by the European Commission is nothing new for the government of Francois Hollande. But the timing of the latest veiled threat from Brussels could hardly be worse. Ten days ago Marine Le Pen ...

FocusEastern European projects at risk in EU budget spat

28.05.14 @ 19:57

Eight member states have signalled opposition to a European Commission request to increase the 2014 budget by €4.7 billion to cover late bills, primarily for infrastructure projects in eastern Europe. The funding gap ...

Greek records first surplus as EU moves closer to balanced budgets

23.04.14 @ 17:38

Cash-strapped Greece recorded its first primary budget surplus in a generation last year, according to data released by Eurostat on Wednesday (23 April). Excluding interest on its debt repayments and a number of one-off ...

Italy and France on EU's economic 'watch list'

06.03.14 @ 11:15

Italy and France were the major euro area countries put on the European Commission's economic "watch-list" over fears about persistently high debt and deficit levels. The two countries were among 14 nations deemed to ...

EU recovery "gaining ground", commission says

25.02.14 @ 18:22

The EU's economic recovery will gather speed in 2014 and 2015, the European Commission predicted on Tuesday (25 February), indicating that the worst of the economic storm which hit Europe is over. "Recovery is gaining ...

MEPs want to 'blackmail' commission candidates over EU budget

30.01.14 @ 17:58

Budget control committee MEPs want future commissioners to take a tougher line on how member states spend EU funds. They say they will make this a key part of their assessment of new commissioners, due to start work in ...

No conflict of interest at EU food agency, director says

21.01.14 @ 10:16

The head of the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa), Bernhard Url, has rebuffed allegations that his staff is too close to industry. Speaking to MEPs in the budgetary control committee on Monday (20 January), he said ...

OpinionIreland and Greece prove the naysayers wrong

22.11.13 @ 17:37

Irish Premier Enda Kenny has announced his country will exit its bailout programme in December. When he took office in 2011, Ireland’s budget deficit was over 30 percent of GDP. Narrowing it to projections of 7.3 ...

Greece to push through 2014 budget without creditors' approval

21.11.13 @ 18:21

Greece's 2014 budget is set to hit the statute book without the approval of the country's creditors, after the country's government tabled its spending plans to the Greek parliament. The Greek government tabled its ...