Thursday

23rd Sep 2021

Brinkmanship on EU budget as officials ponder deal without UK

  • Leaders are bidding to thrash out a budget deal at Thursday's summit (Photo: snorski)

Officials are considering ways to circumvent British opposition to an EU budget deal as member states flex their muscles ahead of Thursday's (22 November) summit aimed at reaching agreement on the bloc's next seven year budget framework starting in 2014.

Sources told this website they were "aware" that some EU officials and national civil servants were considering an "agreement by 26 or even 25".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Under the EU treaties the multi-annual financial framework requires the consent of all 27 member states as well as the European Parliament. However, agreement on the bloc's annual budget can be reached with a qualified majority on a year-by-year basis.

Cameron's Conservative party hit back with Richard Ashworth, leader of the Tory MEPs, insisting that the the UK veto was "a legal reality". He added that EU officials "cannot just wish it away. It would require treaty change."

Trying to reach a compromise, European Council President Herman van Rompuy last week released a proposal that would shave around 80 billion from the over 1 trillion draft budget tabled by the European Commission.

The Van Rompuy paper, which has been sent to national capitals, targets cuts of around 30 billion to EU cohesion funding and 25 billion to agricultural spending. However, the 'Friends of cohesion' group of 15 countries fronted by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, wants to maintain the spending, which funds infrastructure projects in the EU's poorest regions and countries.

Meanwhile, a group of countries, including Germany, Sweden and Britain, want to see deep cuts in the spending plan.

The UK is not the only country making waves. France's European Affairs minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, told Reuters on Monday (19 November) that his government would oppose any cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy.

A number of other member states are also requesting either the maintenance of EU spending in their country or their own budget rebate. Under the Van Rompuy proposal, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden would all receive a one-off rebate payment.

David Cameron is coming under mounting domestic pressure to veto any budget deal that does not include deep cuts to EU spending against a backdrop of rising euroscepticism among voters.

An opinion poll released over the weekend by The Observer indicated that 56 percent of Britons would vote to leave the EU in a referendum.

Agenda

Budget talks take centre stage this WEEK

Money will be the talk of the week as EU leaders make their way to Brussels to try and secure a deal on the bloc's longterm budget.

News in Brief

  1. French ambassador to return to US after Macron-Biden call
  2. Borrell: EU needs armed force independent of US
  3. Polish region does U-turn on gay rights
  4. Johnson makes fun of French anger on submarine deal
  5. Ukraine vows 'tough response' after gun attack on top aide
  6. Poland again delays ruling on primacy of EU law
  7. EU to table emergency proposals on gas-price surge
  8. EU delays first set of anti-greenwashing rules

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. More French names linked to Russia election-monitoring
  2. Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body
  3. Lead energy MEP silent on gas meetings before vote
  4. WHO makes major cut in 'safe' air-pollution levels
  5. EU negotiators defend high Covid vaccines prices paid to pharma
  6. The EU's 'backyard' is not in the Indo-Pacific
  7. French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote
  8. Europeans think new 'Cold War' is here - but not for them

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us