Monday

22nd May 2017

Member states continue budget bickering

  • EU ministers failed to reach a consensus on the Cypriot EU presidency's revised EU budget proposals. (Photo: Images_of_Money)

EU ministers on Monday (24 September) did not reach an agreement on the Cypriot EU presidency’s revised budget headings in the next seven-year, EU €1,033 billion budget pact.

The EU presidency had updated a so-called “negotiating box” which outlines the main elements and options for the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) negotiations.

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.

“Not all elements of our negotiating box were accepted by most or all member states, but all member states accepted the ‘negotiating box’ as a basis for further work", said Andreas Mavroyiannis, Deputy Minister for European Affairs of Cyprus, who chaired the meeting.

Mavroyiannis says spending cuts will be necessary in all MFF headings, which cover anything from job creation to farming subsidies. The EU presidency has yet to put any figures on the cuts on each but argues overall expenditure ceiling for 2014-2020 will have to be “have to be adjusted downwards”.

The UK wants €100 billion slashed from the budget. Britain's Europe Minister David Liddington told the BBC that the commission "should get into the habit of spending better, not always looking to spend more".

But other member states opposed the presidency’s revised plans to slash the budget, “arguing that the MFF was the major investment tool for promoting growth and creating jobs.”

Some also opposed any proposed cuts in the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) which eats up €55 billion of the EU’s budget every year. The delegations had argued against any reduction to the EU average of direct aid per hectare.

CAP is set to cost the EU €380 billion over 2014 to 2020 with each EU citizen paying around €105 a year for the scheme, of which €80 goes directly to farmers.

The commission also presented its plans to introduce its own VAT-based revenue stream. The EU budget is currently financed through customs duties, a uniform rate of 0.30% levied on the harmonised VAT base of each member state, and percentage levied on the GNI of each.

But the commission proposal would entitle it to tax businesses and individuals as well. They also discussed a proposal to draw revenue based on a financial transaction tax. Some member states rejected both ideas.

EU ministers will continue negotiations on 16 October and 20 November, with EU leaders to debate the issue on 22-23 November at a special summit. Cyprus is hoping for an overall deal by the end of the year.

Barroso fights to keep investment pot in EU budget

The European Commision has started banging the drum for a new €50bn pot of money that it says will reinvigorate Europe's economy. But the aid is unlikely to make it through budget negotiations unscathed.

Brussels history museum takes European angle

A new museum on the history of Europe attempts to tell the story of the continent from the 19th century revolutionary movements to Brexit without a national perspective.

Macron and Merkel to 'reconstruct' the EU

The French and German leaders will present a common proposal to deepen and strengthen the EU and the eurozone. They say they are ready to change the EU treaties.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  2. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  4. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  5. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  6. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  7. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  8. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Cost of Speaking Out: Human Rights Violations Committed in Belarus
  10. ACCABanishing Bias? Audit, Objectivity and the Value of Professional Scepticism
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Oslo Climate Declaration Focuses on Rising Temperatures in the Arctic
  12. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceAbdominal Obesity: A Causal Risk Factor for Cardiometabolic Diseases