Thursday

29th Sep 2016

EU budget diplomacy to mark Irish presidency

Exactly 40 years after it joined the EU, Ireland will take on the day-to-day running of the EU including overseeing the almost 70 laws needed to get the currently-disputed longterm budget up and running.

The debt-ridden country - it was bailed out by the EU and the International Monetary Fund in 2011 to the tune of €85bn - joined the EU on 1 January 1973.

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.

When it starts its task at the beginning of next year, the clock will be ticking to get the 1 trillion euro 2013-2020 budget agreed at the political level so that the laborious legislative agreements - ensuring that the budget programmes have a legal basis - can be wrapped up.

Having failed to reach a deal on spending levels at a summit in November, EU leaders are expected to revisit the issue in February or March of next year.

"The real work on this begins once there has been political agreement," Irish EU ambassador Rory Montgomery said Friday (30 November). Then the European Parliament has to agree - with an absolute majority of its members - to the regulation on the spending commitments made by member states.

Fans of greater EU spending, MEPs have threatened to veto any budget they consider too measly.

After the regulation has been secured, a myriad other laws have to be finalised with parliament too.

"There are no fewer than 67 pieces of legislation underpinning the various spending programmes," Montgomery said. These include legislation governing how money for farm subsidies, regional aid, external relations and infrastructure is spent.

While much of the work is already underway, "the reality of it is that it will not be possible to bring them (the legislation) to conclusion until we have the figures. The longer it takes to get the figures, the later that process of final negotiation will begin."

The other major issues for Ireland's six month presidency include plans for a banking union - a key and highly complex part of the EU's progress toward profound monetary union - and an overhaul of the EU's data protection rules, agreed at a time (1995) when 1.5 percent of the EU's households had access to the internet.

Montgomery noted that the economic crisis - now in its fifth year - had resulted in a "certain scarcity of mutual trust and goodwill in the EU."

But still, he said he believed there was "broad consensus" on the overall objectives such as a "stable currency."

"Obviously there is always great interest in detecting the differences of opinion between people or countries. But what strikes me is the extent to which people do manage to iron out their differences and move ahead," said the ambassador.

Balkan leaders pledge to keep out migrants

Balkan leaders said in New York there would be no repetition of last year's mass influx of refugees, as the EU prepares to launch a new border force to keep people out.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EJCMourns the Passing of Israeli Statesman Shimon Peres
  2. World VisionNew Tool Measuring Government Efforts to Protect Children Released
  3. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  4. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  5. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  6. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  7. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  8. Martens CentreQuo Vadis Georgia? What to Expect From the Parliamentary Elections. Debate on 29 September
  9. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  10. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  11. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  12. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?

Latest News

  1. EU commission presents 'realistic' lobbying rules
  2. Evidence mounts of Russia's role in MH17
  3. New EU rules on financial products in limbo
  4. Turkey denies protection to returning Syrians
  5. Budget commissioner Georgieva leaves for UN campaign
  6. Ambition meets reality in EU tax leaks probe
  7. No support for EU army in ministers' talks
  8. Greek MPs approve water and electricity privatisation