EU President Herman Van Rompuy decided not to present a new compromise proposal on the EU budget for 2014-2020 because of strong disagreements between key countries for the numbers. Czech Republic has threatened to veto the budget and British Prime Minister warned that an agreement may not be reached.
European Union leaders started negotiations on the bloc’s seven-year budget. The meeting was delayed with almost six hours, which is indicative for the tension between European leaders on the matter.
The leaders remain divided into fierce adherents of reducing the cost to the EU budget, supporters of the preservation of agricultural subsidies and advocates of aid to poor regions.
The European Commission had requested a budget of EUR 1.033 bln as commitment appropriations and EUR 987 bln in payments for the 2014-2020 year. Herman Van Rompuy reduced these requests suggesting EUR 973 bln and EUR 943 bln for commitments and payments respectively, but he was rejected by the state and government. The new proposal is expected to be about EUR 960 bln for loan commitments. According to some sources, payment credits will be between EUR 900 bln and EUR 920 bln. Parliament threatens to vote against if the compromise victimize too much of the cost of science, youth programs and support for the poorest.
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the latest EU proposals were “a step in the right direction” but “did not go far enough” and further cuts in spending must be made.
In case of failure, European leaders may try to reach an agreement again in March. But the final failure would mean that there would be no multi-annual financial framework and the budget will have to be discussed each year. One of the consequences would be the disappearance of concessions on contributions obtained the period 2007-2013 by Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria.
Therefore compromises must be made by every country for the good of all and the Union’s preservation.