Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

EU's grand ambitions threatened by budget dispute  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 03/02/2013

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


 


(MENAFN - AFP) The European Union's grand ambitions to meet the economic and technological challenges of the future look likely to come under threat at difficult talks this week to set the bloc's next longterm budget.Sources at both the European Commission and the European Parliament say EU leaders will be looking to trim a further 20 to 25 billion euros (30-35 billion) off the almost trillion-euro (1.36 trillion) budget for 2014-2020 at a February 7-8 summit."All the projects for the future that could bring growth and jobs are under threat," a source familiar with the budget negotiations told AFP. "The crisis is killing all our ambitions."The summit will be the second attempt by the 27 leaders to reach a deal on the budget after a November summit collapsed in acrimony.The Commission had originally sought 1.047 trillion euros for the 2014-2020 EU budget.EU President Herman Van Rompuy tried to broker an agreement at the November summit with a proposal for 74 billion in cuts to bring the budget down to 973 billion, or 1.01 percent of Europe's GDP.However Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands pushed for still deeper cuts, with British Prime Minister David Cameron seeking to bring the budget down to 886 billion euros.Many of the likely new cuts will be in the so-called "Connecting Europe" facility, a grand bid to connect up nations in the fields of energy, transport and digital networks.The ambitious scheme dreamt up by the EU executive, the Commission, to propel the bloc into the future, is seen by several nations as too big a drain on the budget.Salaries and other institutional costs that previously were left untouched would also see cuts.The EU's administration commissioner Maros Sefcovic "is very worried about how discussions are going" and has warned against the risk of "breaking the European machinery," said a source.Funds saved from these areas would be allocated to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) favoured by the big farming nations such as France and Spain, or to so-called "cohesion" funds to help poorer regions catch up with others, which are popular among the newer eastern European members of the bloc."This summit risks being the summit of the missed opportunity," said another official close to the budget talks, speaking on condition of anonymity.With only a few days left, backroom talks are continuing.The EU big two, France and Germany, are still not on the same page while Italy's Mario Monti, who is on the election campaign trail, is opposed to major cuts.Monti said this week he was looking forward to seeing new proposals from Van Rompuy and that it was important for Italy that the budget be used to promote the EU's "ambitious goals" of growth and solidarity.He spoke as he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel amid a frantic round of shuttle diplomacy among the EU's top leaders ahead of the summit.Merkel is meeting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday and French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday. Monti announced he was meeting Hollande on Saturday for talks on the budget.Hollande is to meet Poland's Donald Tusk next week."These are all very multi-layered and complex topics," Monti acknowledged.Leaders need to be unanimous on any compromise, which will then need to be agreed by the European Parliament, whose members have been offered a secret vote to avoid all pressure.But the head of the parliament, German Socialist Martin Schulz, has warned of a likely "no" vote if the leaders agree a budget that is far below the initial ambitious proposals submitted by the Commission."If there is no deal, we can live with an annual budget," said Schulz.Under this fallback system, which critics say undermines longterm projects and planning, the annual EU budget is automatically renewed at the previous year's level plus inflation.

 






  MENA News Headlines


 
Click to Apply






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help