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€1 trillion EU budget thrashed out in Brussels

The €1 trillion European Union Budget for 2014 to 2020 will be the main topic of discussion ...
Newstalk
Newstalk

09.28 22 Nov 2012


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€1 trillion EU budget thrashed...

€1 trillion EU budget thrashed out in Brussels

Newstalk
Newstalk

09.28 22 Nov 2012


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The €1 trillion European Union Budget for 2014 to 2020 will be the main topic of discussion at the meeting of the European Council in Brussels this morning.

The talks come as pressure mounts for massive cuts to the Budget as a result of the continuing economic crisis.

David Cameron wants a freeze in EU spending but it is reported that countries including France, Italy and Spain have criticised draft proposals from European Commission President Herman Von Rompuy.

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Ireland will be focussed on maintaining its share of the agriculture budget at the meeting.

The Irish Times reports that French President Francois Hollande will back the efforts by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to secure agriculture funding.

Cohesion funds account for 33% of the proposed budget for the 7-year period. 

These are used for new roads, bridges and other infrastructure in the poorest regions.

This figure is only slightly less than the biggest item which is agriculture.

Czech, UK opposition?

Meanwhile the Czech Republic has said it will not veto the budget although it does not agree with the latest proposal.

Prime Minister Petr Necas said "We do not like the proposal and will stand against it... otherwise we do not want to threaten with a veto".

He added that he wanted some plan to be approved so as not to threaten the flow of EU cohesion funds.

Mr. Van Rompuy tabled a compromise draft EU budget last week aiming to mollify Britain which wants spending cuts and has threatened to veto the plan.

The President of the European Council said in his invitation letter: "The aim of this meeting is clear: it is about ensuring that the Union has the necessary means to function in the years to come, taking into account unavoidable fiscal constraints. It is about sending a concrete signal on our determination to do everything that is needed to lift Europe out of the crisis."

Discussions will be based on draft conclusions prepared by Mr. Van Rompuy in cooperation with the European Commission.

On Thursday Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission José-Manuel Barroso will hold bilateral consultations with the heads of State and government.

The meeting is scheduled for 2days but could last longer.


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