Saturday

21st Oct 2017

EU parliament chief fires warning shot at budget hawks

MEPs will hold a secret ballot on any budget deal reached at the EU summit, European Parliament President Martin Schultz warned on Thursday (7 February), in the latest sign that MEPs are prepared to hang tough in talks with governments.

His statement comes as EU leaders remain deadlocked in negotiations over the size of EU 2014-to-2020 spending.

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.

Freeing deputies from the constraints of a public vote increases the likelihood of parliament rejecting a deal.

Under the Lisbon treaty, MEPs must give their say-so for the seven-year budget to be adopted, with an absolute majority required to ratify an agreement.

Secret ballots are typically used for appointments to the European Commission and other EU bodies, but under rule 169 of the parliament's rules of procedure, a secret vote can be held if one fifth of the assembly's 751 deputies demands it.

Schultz said the assembly's political group leaders have already told him that the 151 signatures needed to trigger a secret vote are available.

The leaders of the parliament's four largest groups have also indicated that they would oppose deep cuts to the next EU budget framework.

Schultz noted that government leaders were on the verge of agreeing "the most backward proposal we've ever had for a financial programme."

Any deal reached at the summit would mark the "beginning rather than an end of the process," Schultz warned.

In a blunt exchange with journalists as EU leaders began marathon talks, Schultz indicated that the proposal presented to EU leaders by Council chief Herman van Rompuy amounts to €960 billion in commitments alongside payment appropriations of between €910 billion to €913 billion, adding that parliament would view any such deal with "scepticism".

In a further affront to hawkish advocates of EU budget cuts, such as Germany and the UK, Schultz revealed that EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski will shortly table an emergency proposal for an extra €16 billion to cover shortfalls in the recently agreed budget deal for 2013.

The news comes just over a month after governments and MEPs agreed on a €6 billion supplementary budget to cover unmade payments from 2012.

EU leaders gather for budget horse-trading

EU leaders are gathering in Brussels for more horse-trading on the Union's budget, with any agreement having to satisfy penny-counting member states without alienating MEPs.

Hollande ready to compromise on EU budget

Francois Hollande is ready to accept a cut in the EU budget provided that it does not weaken the European economy and protects the poorest countries, the French President told MEPs.

Breakthrough at EU budget summit

European Union leaders are ready to cut spending in the coming seven years, with agriculture and cohesion to take the biggest hits. The cuts would be a first in the bloc's six decade history.

Focus

Health MEPs want to phase out glyphosate by 2020

A committee resolution said the proposal to renew the glyphosate permit for a decade "fails to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment".

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  2. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving up to 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  3. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  5. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  9. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  10. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  11. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  12. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People