Monday

27th Mar 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.

Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

EU 27 leaders in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome, in bid to counter rising challenges after Brexit. But new ideas are scarce.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  2. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  3. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  5. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  6. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  7. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  9. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  10. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  11. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People
  12. Nordic Council of Ministers25 Nordic Bioeconomy Cases for Sustainable Change