Tuesday

20th Feb 2018

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.

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.

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.

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.

Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission

While the dialogue between Warsaw and the Commission has improved since new prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki entered office, there is no sign of compromise over rule of law concerns - as the clock ticks towards a March deadline.

MPs demand Council become more transparent

Three Dutch MPs, on behalf of 26 national parliamentary chambers across the EU, are demanding more transparency. 'The Eurogroup is the most opaque of them all,' complained Dutch MP Omtzigt.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs approve anti-smuggling bill on tobacco
  2. SPD members start voting on new Merkel-led government
  3. Barroso lobbied Katainen for Goldman Sachs
  4. Berlusconi's coalition ahead with 34.7% support
  5. Moscovici: Greece '99 percent' there to get new bailout
  6. Simone Veil to enter France's Pantheon in July
  7. German poll puts far-right AfD ahead of SPD for first time
  8. Commissioners poised to join EU-Mexico trade talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. Tomorrow the Brussels Pre-Event
  2. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  3. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  4. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  6. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  7. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  8. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  10. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  11. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  12. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February

Latest News

  1. Eastern states push back at rule of law conditions on funds
  2. Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me
  3. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe
  4. Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
  5. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme
  6. Commissioner Katainen confirms Barroso lobbied him
  7. Eurogroup chief pledge on transparency after meeting MPs
  8. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission