Monday

18th Feb 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“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.

EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency

A resolution demanding Saudi Arabia release prisoners and stop gender-based violence was passed by over 500 MEPs on Thursday in Strasbourg. They also demanded greater transparency over Brussels-based lobbying for the Saudis, following an EUobserver exclusive.

Saudis paying College of Europe to lobby MEPs

The Bruges-based College of Europe is setting up private meetings with the EU institutions for seven ambassadors plus seven high-level officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

News in Brief

  1. EU ministers call climate change 'direct and existential threat'
  2. Seven MPs leave Britain's Labour Party
  3. Czech PM: May's EU elections 'most important ever'
  4. 'History will judge us': May tells MPs on Brexit
  5. Trump warns EU on release of Islamist fighters
  6. Venezuela expels 'conspiratorial' MEPs
  7. Holocaust dispute upsets Israel's EU lobbying
  8. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Merkel defends Russia ties, ridicules Trump on cars
  2. British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule
  3. EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland
  4. ESA pushback against new EU space agency plan
  5. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  6. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  7. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  8. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us