23rd Oct 2016


EU budget, Merkel on agenda this WEEK

Negotiations on the EU's next seven-year budget start on Monday (5 November), with sources predicting a deal on €200 billion cuts.

EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy's head of cabinet, Didier Seeuws, will chair bilateral talks with member states' ministers, ambassadors and sherpas during the week.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The European Commission's top civil servant, Catherine Day, will also take part.

She will be there to defend the commission's €1,033 billion spending proposal.

But when member states' ambassadors met last week, a powerful group - France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Nordic countries - pushed for a lower number.

"I think we'll have a deal on cuts of up to €200 billion," an EU source said.

"At the end of the meeting, Didier [Seeuws] said if we don't agree at the November summit then we can't do it in December because there are other important issues to deal with and we probably won't do it next year because of the heavy political agenda. We have elections in Germany, in Italy - we have to do it now," the EU contact added.

EU finance ministers will try to agree the 2013 EU budget at a meeting with MEPs and EU officials on Friday.

With EU institutions keen to get €138 billion - €9 billion more than member states want to give - the meeting is expected to drag into Saturday morning.

The big political event of the week will be a debate with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and MEPs at the EU parliament in Brussels on Wednesday.

Merkel - who has emerged as the Union's top decision-maker in recent months - will set our her views on the future of Europe and on the financial crisis. But with the plenary chamber closed due to cracks in the ceiling, the venue remains "to be confirmed."

Later the same day, Merkel goes to London to see if British leader David Cameron really plans to veto the seven-year EU budget deal.

Dalligate rumbles on

The parliament's budgetary control committee will on Tuesday talk to the supervisory board of the EU's anti-fraud office, Olaf.

The hearing comes after the board President resigned over irregularities in the case of ex-commissioner John Dalli and tobacco bribes.

Dalli's potential replacement - Maltese foreign minister Tonio Borg - will also meet EU parliament chief Martin Schulz on Wednesday ahead of his official hearing on 13 November.

In terms of general financial hygiene, the European Court of Auditors, anti-fraud commissioner Algirdas Semeta, commission accountant Manfred Kraff and budgetary control MEPs will on Tuesday examine 2011 EU spending.

The commission will on Wednesday unveil its latest economic forecasts.

It will also publish non-binding ideas on visa-facilitation for EU tourism (Wednesday) and on the European car-making industry (Thursday).

Meanwhile, Catalan leader Artur Mas will be in the EU capital on Wednesday to discuss the northern Spanish region's future.

The debate - organised by think tank Friends of Europe - will take place ahead of Catalonia's elections on 25 November and amid speculation on whether breakaway territories can automatically become EU member states.

Global agenda

On the global agenda, top EU officials, French PM Francois Hollande, Italian PM Mario Monti and up to 50 other European and regional leaders will on Monday go to Vientiane, Laos for trade-dominated EU-Asia talks.

But the main event will be the election of the next leader of the world's lone superpower - the US presidential vote on Tuesday.

Polls say most Europeans would like to see Barack Obama stay in office four more years. But for the American citizens casting the ballots, surveys put Obama neck-and-neck against Mormon tycoon Mitt Romney.

Women shake Poland's pillars of power

Polish women are marching again this Sunday and Monday. They could succeed where the opposition, the European Commission and other protests failed, and redraw Poland's political map.

News in Brief

  1. Canada and Wallonia end talks without Ceta deal
  2. Juncker hopes for Canada accord in 'next few days'
  3. Romania drops opposition to Ceta
  4. Difficulties remain on Ceta deal, says Walloon leader
  5. Brexit could lead to 'some civil unrest' in Northern Ireland
  6. ECB holds rates and continues quantitive easing programme
  7. Support for Danish People's Party drops, poll
  8. Spain's highest court overturns Catalan ban on bullfighting

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  2. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  3. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  4. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  6. EASPDJoin the Trip! 20 Years on the Road. Conference & Photo Exhibition on 19-21 October
  7. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  8. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  9. Dialogue PlatformIs Jihadism Blind Spot of Western Intellectuals ? Wednesday 26 October
  10. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeMaster Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! Conference 21 November - 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. EJCEU Parliament's Roadmap for Relations with Iran a Massive Missed Opportunity