2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

Alain Lamassoure, Chairing of the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where the President of the Commission (on the right-forefront) delivered his State of the Union speech. (EP Audiovisual Services 11/09/2013).

Alain Lamassoure, Chairing the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where the President of the Commission Manuel Barroso (on the right-forefront) delivered his State of the Union speech. (EP Audiovisual Services 11/09/2013).

The last fight in the ‘war’ over EU’s proper budget for 2014 is bound to take place this Monday 11 November, after the European Parliament got what it wanted for the 2013 budgetary exercise. For this year’s budget the unpaid bills of 2012 and 2013 totalling at €11.2 billion were at stake, having been now arranged. Whatever part of that amount was to be left unpaid until 31 December, it would have burdened the 2014 budget, thus undercutting the already restricted EU resources for next year. Let’s follow the story from the beginning.

Earlier in the year, the Commission estimated it would run short of €11.2bn to pay its outstanding obligations during 2013 also including some unpaid bills of 2012. By July 2013 the member states, that is the Council, agreed to pay only €7.3bn of the above amount. Legislators expressed their anger over this, because they sensed that the Council wanted to cover the gap of €3.9bn from the already slashed 2014 allocations. Last month the Council was forced to approve the rest of the outstanding payments amounting to €3.9bn.

2013 differences resolved

With the holes of 2013 covered, there is still a big difference between the Parliament and the Council over the 2014 budget. This has to be resolved by a Conciliation Committee, made up by the 28 representatives of the member states and 28 legislators. The first meeting of this Committee was convened on 4 November. During that meeting, the Council proposed to “keep the level of the 2014 EU budget in line with member states’ financing capacities”. This meant to limit payments to €135bn and commitments to €142.23bn. The European Parliament asked to increase the payments by €1.4bn and the commitments by €855 million as compared to the Council’s position.

The next meeting of the Conciliation Committee is set to take place on Monday 11 November, the same day as the ECOFIN (Budget) Council is set to meet, in order to settle the difference for the 2014 EU budget. For the ECOFIN to ‘bless’ the 2014 budget though, there has to be an agreement in the Committee. The second meeting of the Conciliation Committee was to be preceded and prepared by a trialogue (i.e. meeting between representatives of the Lithuanian presidency, the European Parliament and the Commission) on 7 November, that is, yesterday.

The 2014 budget gap remains

Late last evening, after this trialogue was over, Alain Lamassoure, Budgets Committee Chair of the Parliament, spoke of a stalemate. He stated “After the three-way talks…a first step has been taken towards solving the Union’s immediate budgetary problems”. But then he added ““What is at stake in the 2014 budget negotiations is to ensure that the Union does not find itself in an equally critical situation next spring”.

Lamassoure went on and explained that the 28 governments, by proposing such severe cuts on next year’s budget, “would force a choice between delivering on the political undertakings given at the European Council on youth employment, investing for the future, compensating victims of flooding in Germany and other countries and emergency aid to victims of the Syrian civil war and the Lampedusa refugees. Making such a choice would be immoral”.

By making a reference to moral issues, it is obvious that the European Parliament is ready to drag this confrontation to its limits. The Conciliation Committee of next Monday will decide over that. If there will be no conciliation on next year’s budget by 13 November, when the conciliation period expires, the Commission must submit a new draft budget for 2014. If the new budget is also rejected, the EU will be financed by the so-called provisional-twelfths arrangement.

This entails that budget appropriations per month will be limited to one twelfth of the amount in the 2013 budget or of the draft budget for 2014, whatever is the lower. This would be a rather embarrassing situation, indicative of a total inability of EU to decide on such a crucial matter as its own budget.

 

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

Greenpeace’s saints and sinners in the tech world

Towards a European Republic

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed?

The brain amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The UN came of age with the nuclear bomb. Time for it to step up to the AI era

The Chinese spirit

These are the world’s healthiest nations

Youth for Climate Change

George Floyd: these are the injustices that led to the protests in the United States

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

This South Korean company has built a 5G search and rescue airship

Welcome to the age of the platform nation

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

Why Trump’s tariffs are good news for US garlic farmers

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Three of the world’s hardest-hit nations are preparing to end their lockdowns

Indonesia: Psychological impact on earthquake survivors turns villages into ‘ghost towns’

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

Restrictions, unmet promises, unbridled violence in Sudan, a ‘recipe for disaster’, says Bachelet

COVID-19 is a threat to waste pickers. Here’s how to help them

World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

5 facts about the world’s most valuable company, Saudi Aramco

Transport Committee approves major reform of road transport sector

How Costa Rica’s environment minister talks to his daughter about climate change

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

At last Germany to negotiate the costs for a really cohesive Eurozone

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Impact Investment needs global standards and better measurement

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

The blackened white coat of the doctors

The Sahel is engulfed by violence. Climate change, food insecurity and extremists are largely to blame

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Reading this alone? Recent surveys reveal the curious truth about loneliness

Far more needed to ‘confront the world’s climate emergency’, UN chief tells ASEAN Summit

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Brexit deal approved by the European Parliament

Rule of Law: European Commission takes new step to protect judges in Poland against political control

These are the OECD’s most productive economies

West Africa ‘shaken by unprecedented violence’, UN envoy tells Security Council

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

UN receives ‘Humanium’ wristwatch gift, symbolizing peaceful transformation

How nudge theory can help empty our plastic-filled ‘drawers of shame’

More Stings?

Advertising

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