Tuesday

11th Dec 2018

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".

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

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.

News in Brief

  1. Seven EU states fail to sign UN global pact on migration
  2. EU scheme to bypass US Iran sanctions in place by new year
  3. ECB set to end quantitative easing
  4. Macron raises minimum wage to please 'Yellow Vest' protesters
  5. Lead MEP on Morocco resigns position on trade file
  6. EU gives green light to new human rights sanctions
  7. May pulls vote, seeks to renegotiate Brexit 'backstop'
  8. Report: May cancels Tuesday's Brexit vote in parliament

EU aviation agreement with Morocco in legal hot water

The European Commission is struggling to respond to questions on how it can include the disputed territory of the Western Sahara into its aviation agreement with Morocco - following a recent order from the General Court of the European Union.

Opinion

EU foot-dragging puts rule of law at risk in Hungary, Poland

The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, has yet to be heard on the forced eviction of the Central European University from Budapest to Vienna. Just months before crucial European parliament elections, EU leaders should not shy away from this debate.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Russian propaganda prompts alarm in Ukraine and France
  2. May on whistle-stop EU tour to seek new backstop pledges
  3. How EU agriculture policy endangers migrants' lives
  4. EU aviation agreement with Morocco in legal hot water
  5. Anti-semitism 'disturbingly normalised' in Europe
  6. Help consumers take cruelty away from EU's Xmas buffet
  7. EU court adds to knife-edge Brexit drama
  8. France and Germany back Dutch on human rights sanctions

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us