No agreement in sight on EU budget

European Parliament 13/6/2013, Conference of Presidents. Martin Schulz President of the Parliament (first from right). (European Parliament photographic library).

European Parliament, 13/6/2013, Conference of Presidents. Martin Schulz President of the Parliament (first from right). (European Parliament photographic library).

In less than 24 hours the European Parliament answered in force a self-congratulating Press release issued by the Irish Presidency, falsely announcing a major breakthrough in the negotiations over the EU budgets for the next seven years. It’s about the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 that provides for the ceiling of the overall EU spending during this period. The Irish Presidency’s Press release almost reassured everybody that the matter was settled, an allegation which proved yesterday to be totally wrong.

The European Sting writer George Pepper insisted on 12 June that this cannot be like that. He actually wrote that, “This obvious neglect of basic reporting rules which goes as far as sidestepping of democratic principles (not a word on the other side’s positions) has become standard in Irish Presidency’s press releases, regarding the trilateral negotiations between the legislators, the Commission and the Council over the EU spending ceilings during the next seven years. It’s not the first time the Irish Presidency bullies the Parliament on this issue”.

What is at stake?

At this point it must be mentioned that over the past four months there are ongoing trilateral negotiations between the Parliament, the Commission and the Council over this MFF 2014-2020. Last February the European Council of the 27 leaders set the limit for the seven-year EU total spending at €960 billion, less than the previous MFF 2008-2013. It is the first time that the EU budget is proposed to be set at an inferior level than the previous one. On February 12 the European Parliament rejected the decision/proposal of the European Council, in a rare unanimity between its four major political parties. Actually the President of the legislative Martin Schulz stated then that he will never sign such an MFF. That marked the beginning of the negotiations.

As it turned out yesterday the Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (the President of Parliament and the political group chairmen), rejected once more the Council proposal, again in a rare unanimity of all major political parties. The relevant Press release stated that, “The Conference of Presidents is very disappointed that the Council’s reluctance to compromise has not yet allowed for an agreement on the MFF 2014 – 2020 to be reached. The European Parliament has already made far-reaching concessions, taking into account the difficult budgetary situation in the Member States, and is clearly showing its willingness to reach a reasonable deal”.

This is a direct blow to the Irish Presidency of the Council. It was high time that someone taught those impertinent Irish a lesson. And the lesson is directly addressed to the Deputy Irish Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD and the Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, who conduct those negotiations on behalf of the Council.

Frozen negotiations

In the substance of the matter the Parliament appears quite frustrated with the attitude of the Council. The Conference of Presidents notes that it’s not at stake only the proper financial means of the Union during the next seven years. There are unpaid bills from the 2012 budget and together with the predicted deficit of 2013 the total amount to be covered this year reaches €11,2bn.

In detail the Conference of Presidents once more confirmed that:
“- without a convincing guarantee from the Council to agree on budgeting the full additional amount of €11.2 billion requested by the European Commission in its Draft Amending Budget no.2 to enable payment of the Union’s bills for the current year,
– without true flexibility for commitments and payments across headings and across years to allow the use of the full amounts foreseen for 2014 to 2020,
– without an obligatory revision clause making it possible to reassess the budgetary needs during the MFF period and adjust them, if necessary, allowing the newly elected European Parliament to play its role, and
– without a clear understanding on a viable way and timetable for the setting up of a true system of own resources for the European Union,
the necessary majority in Parliament to consent to the next MFF will not be achieved”.

In short the Parliament appears ready to hold this position, because reportedly the legislative has already made a step backwards by accepting the overall limit at €960bn. Unfortunately the Council doesn’t seem ready to make a respective move. Yet the Irish Presidency every time there is a discussion comes out with ‘triumphant’ Press releases announcing breakthrough agreement. Reality is far from that. The Parliament is not ready to forsake anything more. It’s the turn of the Council to make a contribution.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Brexit: MEPs concerned over reported UK registration plans for EU27 citizens

These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019

Youth for Climate Change

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

Bangladesh: Head of UN refugee agency calls on Asia-Pacific leaders to show ‘solidarity’ with Rohingya refugees

Constitution of the 9th legislature of the European Parliament

Violence on the rise in Darfur following Sudan military takeover, but UN-AU peacekeeping mission maintains ‘robust posture’

Mozambique pledging conference hopes to soften devastating blow of back-to-back cyclones

UN genocide adviser welcomes historic conviction of former Khmer Rouge leaders

Parliaments can be pillars of democracy and defenders of human rights, says UN chief on International Day

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

South Sudanese refugees need $2.7 billion, as safe return remains elusive

Tobacco-free public space – how is the European law executed in my country?

LGBT community in Chechnya faces ‘new wave of persecution’: UN human rights experts

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

Draghi, Letta: All Eurozone countries must be able to borrow like Germany

5 amazing people fighting to save the oceans

Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our oceans, and how we can solve them

Latest tragedy in the Mediterranean claims over 100 lives – UN refugee agency

These are the benefits of learning a second language

“Joining forces to #BeatPollution”, a Sting Exclusive by the Head of UNEP in Brussels

Yemen: ‘Living hell’ for all children, says UNICEF; Angelia Jolie calls for ‘lasting ceasefire’

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

How will the EU face the migration crisis when the Turkish threats come true?

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

The hidden cost of the electric car boom – child labour

At G20 Summit OECD’s Gurría says collective action vital to tackle global challenges

Infringements: Commission adapts its calculation methodology for financial sanctions

Hiring is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

The Mobile World Congress in Shanghai will take place on 27-29 June 2018

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

The influence of the multilateral agreement on migrant health

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

UN urges protection of indigenous peoples’ rights during migration

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

Remembering slave trade offers chance to raise awareness, ‘oppose all forms of modern slavery’ – UNESCO

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

Innovating together: connectivity that matters at ITU Telecom World 2019 – in association with The European Sting

Newly-elected Nigerian UN General Assembly President pledges focus on ‘peace and prosperity’ for most vulnerable

The world’s coastal cities are going under. Here’s how some are fighting back

What the buoyant US economy means for the rest of the world

Fail fast, fail better: 3 ways companies can master innovation

Women’s work faces the greatest risk of automation, says new research

UN political chief calls for dialogue to ease tensions in Venezuela; Security Council divided over path to end crisis

Love unlimited

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

What changes in the EU as from today

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

New legislation on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain

ECB with an iron hand disciplines the smaller Eurozone member states; latest victim: Greece

EU and Amazon cut deal to end antitrust investigation over e-books deals

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s