EU in crunch talks on budget gap
- Published: 6/05/2013 at 10:49 PM
- Online news:
Leading EU officials meet later Monday to try and break a deadlock on the bloc's budget for the rest of the decade with a summit of feuding national leaders looming on May 22.
Jose Manuel Barroso at a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels last week. Leading EU officials meet later Monday to try and break a deadlock on the bloc's budget for the rest of the decade with a summit of feuding national leaders looming on May 22.
The head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament head Martin Schulz and current chair for EU governments, Irish premier Enda Kenny will meet from 1630 GMT, although no decisions are expected to emerge from the talks.
The European Union, after an ever-expanding budget since its post-WWII foundations, faces its first real-terms spending cuts to mirror national austerity, if a deal reached among national capitals earlier this year is implemented.
But the Commission -- the EU's vast civil service -- and the Parliament, growing in clout and ambition, are opposed to the cuts. And leaders must find agreement to pay more than 11 billion euros ($14.4 billion) in unpaid 2012 bills.
One solution suggested by the French could see the gap in payments met but over a longer timeframe.
The extra bill for 2012 for the biggest EU member governments is significant: two billion euros for Germany, 1.8 billion for France and 1.2 billion for Britain.
The EU Parliament -- which has threatened to torpedo entirely the planned 2014-2020 budget if last year's debts are not paid in full --- votes on the issue in July.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency