Sunday

19th Nov 2017

Germany wants EU budget summit in February

  • A first attempt to agree on the seven-year budget failed in November (Photo: European Council)

The German government is pressing for a second attempt to reach a deal on the EU multi-annual budget during the next EU summit scheduled for 7-8 February.

But EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy has not yet put it on the agenda of the meeting, participants in a briefing organised by the European Movement in Berlin were informed on Thursday (10 January).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

One reason for the hesitation may be that Italian elections are due in February, with the fate of Prime Minister Mario Monti still unclear.

But an EU official told this website that electoral considerations were not the main reason, so much as the wish to call a summit only when there is near certainty that a deal can be reached.

The seven-year budget is aimed at avoiding yearly money quarrels among member states, as was the case in the 1980s. The current seven-year budget of just over €1 trillion - spent mostly on agriculture and projects in poorer member states - runs out at the end of this year.

A first attempt to reach a deal failed in November as the group of net payers led by Germany and Britain demanded further cuts, while the "friends of cohesion" in the south and east wanted more money.

Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday, Van Rompuy said a deal in February is "preferable," but suggested the budget summit may happen later in spring.

"The November council didn't end in failure. We had no agreement, but there were sufficient points of convergence to say that a deal is possible. I stick to that analysis. We are working hard to get an agreement. We said in November 'in the course of next spring, but preferably in February, if possible'."

Speaking the same day in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks with her Maltese counterpart that they discussed the EU budget issue and they both "want clarity quickly."

"We need a seven-year budget, not that we go back to yearly budgets," she said.

For his part, Maltese PM Lawrence Gonzi said "we'll meet in February on the topic" and that it is in the EU's interest to show budgetary predictability for the markets.

EU diplomats expect the final summit agenda to be announced next week.

If the 7-8 February deadline is too early, Van Rompuy can still call an extraordinary summit later in February or wait for the next EU meeting on 14-15 March.

Time is pressing - once a final deal is agreed on who pays how much into the pot and who gets what out of it, more than 700 legislative acts have to be passed in the European Parliament before the new budget framework kicks off, on 1 January 2014.

If no agreement is reached in time, the 2013 budget will be rolled over to the following year, but poorer EU states stand to be the biggest losers, as most of their money is dependent on the seven-year planning.

Leaders break off EU budget talks

EU leaders on Friday decided to break off 2014-2020 budget negotiations after a second compromise attempt failed to reconcile those wanting cuts and those asking for more money.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

MEPs ponder how to fight tax havens

After the Paradise Papers brought new revelations about tax dodging across the globe, including in the EU, the European Parliament wonders how to step up the fight.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse