Wednesday

25th May 2016

MEPs told to prepare for budget cuts

MEPs should brace themselves for an overall cut in the next EU budget framework, European Commission President Jose Barroso warned on Tuesday (27 November).

Speaking in the European Parliament following last week's unsuccessful budget summit, Barroso said that the 2014-2020 budget would "most likely be smaller than its predecessor."

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.

The commission had originally proposed to increase the budget to €1,053 billion.

In remarks that could mark the start of a climbdown by the EU executive, Barroso noted that "never before" had the negotiations taken place in "a climate of sharp economic downturn."

Meanwhile, European Council President Herman van Rompuy told MEPs that politicians needed to agree on a "moderation budget."

But he warned EU leaders should not "characterise this process as a fight between rich and poor, between north and south."

He added: "Our budget must properly reflect the fact that there a certain number of things we want the union to do ... and it must be able to do them."

The remarks were met with a frosty response from MEPs from across the ideological divide. Socialist leader Hannes Swoboda accused member states of focusing on the costs of the EU's administration.

"A scapegoat has been found: the administration costs too much. We need an international administration able to carry out its tasks," he said.

MEPs also blamed governments for the failure to agree not only on the longterm budget but also the budget for next year.

Talks are deadlocked on the commission's request in November for an additional €9 billion to cover outstanding bills for the 2012 budget. French centre-right deputy Alain Lamassoure, who chairs the assembly's budget committee, asked "how can EU leaders agree on the long-term budget if they cannot even agree to pay the bills for 2012?"

At the summit last week, Parliament President Martin Schultz insisted that MEPs would block any attempts by governments to cut EU spending beyond the figures set out in the van Rompuy text.

During the summit, Van Rompuy presented leaders with a second budget proposal that would cut overall spending between 2014-2020 to €973 billion, €20 billion lower than for the current budget framework.

After protests by France and Poland, the numbers were rejigged to give more money to agriculture and regional spending.

The EU's flagship growth and jobs projects including the "Connecting Europe" programme aimed at improving the continent's transport and energy network, saw its proposed funding reduced as did EU development aid and foreign affairs.

Merkel casts doubt on Turkey visa-free travel

German chancellor after meeting with the Turkish president, said it was likely that conditions would not be met by 1 July as agreed in the EU-Turkey migrant deal.

News in Brief

  1. Technical witness tells EP diesel cheating not necessary
  2. Poland presents 'solutions' to constitutional crisis
  3. Greek bailout without IMF not an option, says Dijsselbloem
  4. Germany's Bayer makes offer to buy US giant Monsanto
  5. Greece evacuates Idomeni migrant camp
  6. Austria: far-right candidate defeated
  7. EU boosts Mediterranean naval campaign
  8. Greece to evacuate Idomeni migrant camp

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  2. Innovators Under 35Meet MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 Award Recipients from Belgium on 25 May, 6pm
  3. Open EuropeJoin the Brussels Brexit Debate on Wednesday, 25 May at 5:00 PM
  4. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  5. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  6. CEDEC - Covenant of MayorsWebinar on 25 May - Electric Vehicles Development: The Role of Local Entities
  7. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  8. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  10. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan
  11. World VisionCash-based Programming to Address Hunger in South Sudan:
  12. Belgrade Security ForumOpen Call for Applications! Join the Events Team at the 6th Belgrade Security Forum.

Latest News

  1. Austria vote is wake-up call for EU left
  2. Poland vows solution to judicial crisis
  3. Terrorists likely stockpiling explosives in EU, says Europol
  4. EU navies to help Libya coastguard stop migrants
  5. Merkel casts doubt on Turkey visa-free travel
  6. EU and Poland in last minute talks on rule of law
  7. Tough challenges ahead for Austria's president
  8. Search for VW compensation larger in EU than in US