Monday

20th Feb 2017

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".

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.

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.

Opinion

Unfair EU-Canada trade deal is wrong response to Trump

The EU-Canada trade deal, which is to be voted on in the European Parliament next week, cements the inequalities, political exclusion and favours to corporations that feed far-right groups in Europe.

Visual Data

EU farming policy: The damage done by 20 years of inertia

The EU Commission will ask the public later this week how the common agricultural policy should be overhauled. Data from the past two decades reveals a catalogue of missed chances and failed reforms.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty