Thursday

21st Jun 2018

EU budget talks delayed as leaders set out red lines

  • Budget broker? Van Rompuy (r) has met individually with all EU leaders (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

The long-awaited EU budget summit has begun on an uncertain note with a two hour delay to the start of talks.

EU officials had expected the first working session of talks to start at 20h30 Thursday evening, but with the 'confessional' meetings between EU leaders and European Council President Herman van Rompuy overrunning, negotiations are not expected to start before 11pm and not expected to finish until the early hours of Friday.

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.

... our join as a group

Van Rompuy is expected to provide a revised budget plan as the basis for detailed negotiation. The first compromise proposal circulated to national capitals by the Council President pared the 1,053 billion tabled by the European Commission to 973 billion, a 20 billion cut on the 2007-2013 framework.

However, while the summit on the EU's next seven year budgetary cycle starting in 2014 has been planned to continue until the weekend, many leaders are sanguine about the prospect of talks breaking up without an overall deal.

Angela Merkel indicated that she felt under little pressure to reach an agreement. "Germany wants to reach the goal but it may be that we need a further stage", she told reporters outside the Council building.

Germany is comfortably the largest net contributor to the EU budget, and is unwilling to see its contribution go up. French President Francois Hollande, struck a different tone, emphasising that France and Germany would be the likely brokers of a deal. "I am sure that with Germany, we are going to be - as always - a motor to allow this compromise", he said.

The talks are expected to be finely balanced between the eight member states who are net contributors to the budget seeking overall cuts in EU spending and others demanding either an increase or, at least, the maintenance of programmes such as farms subsidies in the common agricultural policy and cohesion funding for infrastructure projects in the bloc's poorest regions.

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti said that "it is absolutely essential that Italy obtains better results than those presented in initial drafts", he said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been loudest about the potential use of the veto, promised to negotiate hard for British taxpayers.

Meanwhile, European Parliament President Martin Schultz warned earlier that MEPs could reject an eventual agreement if the budget cuts are too deep.

Opinion

EU budget: Don't cut the left arm to save the right

EU citizens will be the biggest losers of the power struggle on the Union's budget for 2014-2020, as any cuts will stifle growth and jobs, write MEPs Joseph Daul and Reimer Boege.

Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs

The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has said it will not wait until Friday, to hear a verdict of European legal experts on human rights, before going ahead with its bill curtailing NGOs who work with migrants.

Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs

The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has said it will not wait until Friday, to hear a verdict of European legal experts on human rights, before going ahead with its bill curtailing NGOs who work with migrants.

News in Brief

  1. PES to announce 'spitzenkandidat' names in October
  2. Macedonian parliament ratifies name deal
  3. EU to hit US with import duties from Friday
  4. Commission: New on-road CO2 test would take years
  5. Juncker orders migration 'mini-summit' on Sunday
  6. Luxembourg gave illegal state aid to energy firm
  7. Negotiators lower finger printing age of refugees to six
  8. EU to lift its internal data storage barriers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. How to get around the EU posted workers directive
  2. EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'
  3. Fate of EU refugee deal hangs in the balance
  4. Merkel, Macron in pre-summit pledge on migration, eurozone
  5. Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs
  6. Swedish party puts EU referendums back in fashion
  7. EU summit set to outsource asylum
  8. Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us