Monday

22nd Apr 2019

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.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us