Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

 The European Parliament rapporteur on 2014 EU Budget, Anne E. Jensen (ALDE, DK) and Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR),  Chair of the BUDG Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament,  are holding a Press conference on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 for the next seven EU budgets (European Parliament’s Audiovisual Services).

The European Parliament rapporteur on 2014 EU Budget, Anne E. Jensen (ALDE, DK) and Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR), Chair of the BUDG Committee on Budgets of the European Parliament, are holding a Press conference on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 for the next seven EU budgets (European Parliament’s Audiovisual Services).

Yesterday the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council made another blunder and a very bad start in its relation with the European Parliament. After the Lithuanian Vice-Minister Algimantas Rimkūnas presented to the plenary of the Legislative the Council a proposal for the EU 2014 Budget, with which many MEPs strongly disagreed, the Lithuanian Presidency issued a clumsy Press release making no reference whatsoever to the opinions expressed by the MEPs. It also forgot to inform us all what kind of Vice-Minister Algimantas Rimkūnas is for? Probably economics?

Minister of what?

Seemingly Rimkūnas appearance in the Plenary of the European Parliament must have been even clumsier. That’s why the Plenary Session Press release on the EU Budget discussion issued afterwards not only omitted to mention who presented the Council proposal, but also made only one reference to the country that holds the rotating Presidency.

The Lithuanian government probably thinks that they can get away with their efforts to impose on the EU workings their obsessive ideas about how the Union should function. They will discover soon that Brussels has the means and the powers to ridicule their ideas and obliterate their egoism. This is the second time the Lithuanian government appears incapable or distortive.

Last weekend the Lithuanian Presidency actually falsified and distorted in its Press release the decision of the Council of Foreign Ministers on Syria. The Council followed the French President’s proposal that the EU should wait for the results of the ongoing “UN investigation on the 21st of August attack and further investigations on other chemical weapons attacks”. The Lithuanian Presidency’s Press release made no reference to this almost unanimous decision of the EU Council of Ministers. Probably this is an indication of the Lithuanian government’s idea about credibility and respect of rules.

Slashing 2014 spending

Coming back to the EU 2014 Budget, the Council proposal provides for EUR 142.5 billion in commitments and EUR €136.1 billion in payments. Compared to the 2013 budget the resources committed for the entire EU for next year are reduced by €9.33bn or -6.15% while payments are slashed by of €9.5bn or -6.6%. There is however another thorny issue with the 2014 budget and this is the unpaid bills of 2012 and 2013. Who is going to pay for that?

Early this year, the Commission estimated it would run short of €11.2bn to pay its outstanding bills this year including also some unpaid bills of 2012. So far the member states that is the Council, have agreed to pay only €7.3bn. Legislators expressed their anger yesterday because they sensed that the Council wants to cover the gap of €3.9bn from the already slashed 2014 allocations.

According to the Parliament’s Press release “The Council’s proposed cutbacks in EU research and employment spending contradict its own promises, MEPs commented on the draft budget for 2014 as presented by the Council’s Lithuanian Presidency on Tuesday”. Other MEPs noted that the Council’s budget stance contradicts its promises for economic recovery.

Angry MEPs

The Parliament’s rapporteur on 2014 budget, Anne Jensen (ALDE, DK) observed that the “Council has chosen to do “business as usual” by cutting the Commission’s already very tight budget proposal. It is unacceptable that the Council should make the biggest cuts in growth policies such as research and innovation”. There was also general consensus that “Despite its recent promises to prioritise (youth) employment and growth-stimulating programmes for research, education and small and medium-sized enterprises, these are precisely the areas where the Council proposes the deepest cuts, totalling €426 million (-3%)”. At this point it must be mentioned that the 27 EU leaders decided in their last spring’s summit to set aside €6bn to support youth employment. It is exactly those items that the Council slashes now.

What next?

According to the rules the Parliament’s Budgets Committee will now formulate its position on the Council amendments on 2 and 3 October. This position will be put to a plenary vote on 23 October. If the Council does not accept Parliament’s changes, a 21-day conciliation period will follow. This timetable reaches well into November and it is highly possible that the Union will be still without a 2014 budget by then. At that time all eyes will fall on the responsible party which will obviously be the Lithuanian Presidency. It remains to be seen what the outcome would be.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

3 ways to make the 2020s the decade we close the gender gap

Paid paternity leave should be the norm in the US

Nearly 3 billion people around the globe under COVID-19 lockdowns – Today’s coronavirus updates

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

Fed and ECB prepare a new party for the financial sharks

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Oil prices could remain depressed for at least a year. Here’s why

Consumer protection: Deal on EU-wide rules for those sold faulty products

The recipe for creativity involves a lot of ideas, and a short break

This is what happened to CO2 emissions in the EU last year

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

Africa’s future is innovation rather than industrialization

Carbon neutrality and funds for EU programmes are EP priorities for EU summit

On our way to China

Mali’s ‘self-defence’ groups must face justice, after deadly intercommunal attacks

South-South Cooperation ‘accelerates’ us toward 2030 goals, UN Chief says on International Day

Reparations for sexual violence in conflict – ‘what survivors want most, yet receive least’

‘Crippling to our credibility’ that number of women peacekeepers is so low: UN chief

Draghi keeps the euro cheap, helps debt refinancing, recapitalization of banks and growth

Security of 5G networks: EU Member States complete national risk assessments

All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality

Coronavirus: Commission concludes talks to secure future coronavirus vaccine for Europeans

‘You can and should do more’ to include people with disabilities, wheelchair-bound Syrian advocate tells Security Council in searing speech

Quality of air in Bucharest-Romania: is it fog or is it smog?

Making the most of our ‘extra time’ – for ourselves and society

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future that protects EU citizens and the environment

The European Commission cuts roaming charges. But “it’s not enough”…

Union of Equality: European Commission presents Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

Coronavirus (COVID-19): The truth against the myths

System value can power the energy transition in emerging markets

EU prepares itself to fight back against hostile propaganda

EU long-term budget: EP still fighting for a good agreement

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

How to give start-ups a head-start

Central America: drought, resulting crop losses threaten food security of two million people, UN warns

SRHR Response to HIV Global epidemic, what’s next?

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

‘Highly explosive’ escalation of conflict and displacement across Syria’s Idlib, says top UN official

What empty homes and hipster coffee shops tell us about globalization

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

Uneven progress on climate action at Bangkok conference

Why artificial intelligence is learning emotional intelligence

Europe to turn the Hamburg G20 Summit into a battlefield

The world is too complacent about epidemics. Here’s how to change

Would you want to live to 150? Top quotes on what it means to grow old

MEPs back plans to promote water reuse for agricultural irrigation

Telemedicine in medical practices and its contribution to quality and accessibility to care

What we take for granted: The EU is not perfect

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

Compensation for damages by the State for infringement of EU law: the European Commission refers Spain to the Court of Justice for its rules on the compensation for damages incurred by private parties

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: The health of capitalism won’t be the only worry for those who head for Davos

Putin becomes the ‘perfect enemy” for the West

France is bringing back national service

Why vaccines are not just for children

Rule of Law mechanism applies without further delay as of 1 January, MEPs stress

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

More Stings?



  1. Ces posts sont assurément fascinants

  2. Je vais finir de lire tout cela ce soir

  3. C’est bizarre je pensais faire un petit article
    identique à celui ci

  4. J’ai pas eu le temps de finir de regarder toutefois je repasse

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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