EU Budget Negotiations Stalled

Written by | Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The future of the 2015 EU budget is unclear after member states have decided not to support the proposal of the EU Commission to get over the shortage of €4.7 billion in the 2014 budget by using the extra resources available in the EU budget, which mostly come from fines. After Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President responsible for the EU budget, had published a statement pointing out the failure of budget talks, the Parliament clarified that it could not accept the stance of the Council, which would decrease by half the amount that the Commission asked for. The Commission requested the extra money in the budget to pay for the most urgent bills.

In the coming days, the Commission is going to come up with another proposal while working with the member countries and the Parliament to get an agreement before the end of this year. According to the explanation of the former budget commissioner, Jacek Dominik, member states are pushing for cuts to the proposed sum, which is in conflict with the priorities of the European Union. For instance, in the budget that should cover growth and jobs, including youth unemployment, €1.3 billion in payments are cut. Commenting on the latest EU budget controversy, Jean Arthuis, the leader of the parliamentary delegation posed a question as to “how credible can an EU be which tells member states to control their public spending and yet puts entrepreneurs, researchers and Erasmus students in difficulty by not honouring its commitments?”

For this year, the Commission has proposed an amending budget of €4.7 billion although it made clear that almost the entire sum was available thanks to fines imposed on international firms under EU’s competition laws. The Parliament supports this approach, but member states said they would rather opt for the channelling of the additional income back into their national budgets.

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