Friday

22nd Jun 2018

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."

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

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.

Leaders break off EU budget talks

EU leaders on Friday decided to break off 2014-2020 budget negotiations after a second compromise attempt failed to reconcile those wanting cuts and those asking for more money.

Interview

Academic to probe EU's secret law-making

A German PhD candidate has recently started conducting interviews about how the EU's behind-closed-doors 'trilogues' actually work. "Now the fun work starts," he says.

EP in blame game on Zuckerberg meeting format

[UPDATED] Last month's 'hearing' with Facebook CEO allowed him to give only general or evasive answers about the data breach scandal involving Cambridge Analytica - partly due to the controversial format of the meeting.

Analysis

Greece facing post-bailout challenges

Creditors are expected to agree Thursday on a final loan and debt relief measures for Greece. After eight years on an international lifeline, the country will remain under close surveillance - but will have to find a new economic model.

News in Brief

  1. Romania's ruling party leader gets jail sentence
  2. EU states defer individual decisions on asylum reforms
  3. Commission opens case on Qatar gas flow
  4. EU adopts posted workers directive
  5. EU leaders to call for 'coordinated plan' on AI
  6. May passes Brexit bill after rebels accept compromise
  7. Pope: populists 'creating a psychosis' on migrants
  8. MEPs want to restrict use of antibiotics

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

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us