Wednesday

25th Apr 2018

EU institutions mark out 'red lines' ahead of budget summit

  • Lewandowski - The EU budget will have to do "more with less" (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

EU politicians are squaring up for a showdown on the bloc's seven year budget ahead of next week's summit.

Both the European Parliament and Commission set out their respective stalls on Friday (25 January).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The further away the figures are from the Commission figures then the higher the possibility of a No," European Parliament President Martin Schulz told reporters. Schultz added that the Commission's proposal reflects "what Europe actually needs."

Schultz also reminded member states that MEPs need to give their approval to whatever a deal is struck by EU leaders. "You'd be surprised by just how little that seems to be known," he commented.

The Parliament backs the Commission's proposal for a multi-annual financial framework (MFF) budget worth €1 trillion between 2014-2020. It is particularly keen to safeguard the "Connecting Europe" infrastructure programme as part of EU measures to support growth and jobs.

Failure to reach agreement on the longterm budget in the coming months could result in the 2014 and 2015 budgets being taken on a year-by-year basis.

EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski for his part warned that any agreement would involve a reduction in spending. "Realistically, we will have to do more with less," he told an audience at the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based thinktank on Friday.

"This is not the position of the Commission but political reality," he added.

However, Lewandowski struck an exasperated tone at demands by member states to reduce the total commitments in the budget commenting that "the MFF is like the limits of a credit card - it doesn't actually reflect total spending."

The commissioner also warned that the EU's overseas development spending could be an easy target for cuts.

Under the the most recent proposal by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, the "Global Europe" budget line, which covers all EU development spending, would be reduced to under €60 billion between 2014-2020, a near 15 percent cut on the €70 billion of funding tabled by the EU executive.

EU leaders will meet on 7-8 February to try and reach a deal on the long-term budget. Their last talks on the budget - in November - broke up without agreement.

In a letter circulated to national capitals in advance of the summit, van Rompuy stated that the settlement would be a "budget of moderation".

"We all - and I stress the word "all" - need to compromise. No single Member State can have all its wishes fulfilled - just like in national budget talks within coalitions," he said.

Agenda

EU budget talks to dominate this WEEK

EU leaders gather in Brussels at the end of the week for a second attempt to agree the bloc's budget framework for 2014-2020.

News in Brief

  1. UN expects over $4bn in pledges for Syria
  2. Commission wants more public data made available for reuse
  3. Study: Brexit will hit all European farmers
  4. European media face rise in 'verbal violence' from politicians
  5. Greenland PM to keep power despite poll slump
  6. Commissioner optimistic on FYROM name solution
  7. Italian court keeps NGO migrant rescue boat docked
  8. German Jews warned not to wear skullcap in public

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May
  2. EU Green Week 2018Green Cities for a Greener Future. Join the Debate in Brussels from 22 to 24 May
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  5. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  6. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  8. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  9. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  10. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  11. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  12. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip

Latest News

  1. Whistleblowers could be enforcers of rule of law in Europe
  2. EU shelves Macron idea for 'European Darpa'
  3. Don't play EU 'games' with military HQs, Italian admiral says
  4. EU had a plan for Jordan - now it's time to make it work
  5. Time for EU to take charge of global health research agenda
  6. EU in race to set global Artificial Intelligence ethics standards
  7. Juncker delays air quality action due to busy agenda
  8. Spain makes bid for EU naval HQ