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.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

EU budget: Commission proposes most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet

The Parliament paves the way for the creation of the European Banking Union

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

DR Congo elections: ‘Excessive use of force’ in campaign must be avoided, says Bachelet

ECB’s Draghi favours a cheaper euro to serve all Eurozone countries

How many more financial crises in the West can the world stand?

Cultural Intelligence: the importance of changing perspectives

Why the merchant ships can pollute the atmosphere with CO2 quite freely

Here’s how we can tackle the growing cybersecurity skills gap

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

How telehealth can get healthcare to more people

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

G20 LIVE: The European Sting covers online world news and the latest developments at G20 from Antalya Turkey

US prosecutors now target Volkswagen’s top management, upsetting Germany

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

‘Collective endeavour’ needed to strengthen peacekeeping further, says top UN official

Boom in Artificial Intelligence patents, points to ‘quantum leap’ in tech: UN report

Is Haiti better prepared for disasters, nine years on from the 2010 earthquake?

Eurostat confirms a dangerously fast falling inflation in Eurozone

‘Global care crisis’ set to affect 2.3 billion people warns UN labour agency

DR Congo: Ebola response resumes despite ‘risky environment’

All sides in Yemen conflict could be guilty of war crimes, UN experts find

Eurozone: The cycle of deficits, debts and austerity revisited

European Youth Capital 2019 announced: Novi Sad, Serbia

We have to fight for a fairer tech industry for women

European Banking Union: Like the issue of a Eurobond?

Capitalism’s greatest weakness? It confuses price with value

Trump to subject the Fed, challenge the ECB and make Wall St. bankers even richer

Restoring prospect of peace in Middle East is ‘our shared responsibility’ UN envoy tells Security Council

How banks should prepare for robots going rogue

Medical Education is #NotATarget

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

The EU pollution rights trading system frozen

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

The EU Consumer Policy on the Digital Market: A Behavioral Economics View

European Commission adopts new list of third countries with weak anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regimes

The EU Commission implicates major banks in cartel cases, threatens with devastating fines

US-North Korea summit ‘an important milestone’ towards denuclearization, says Guterres

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Solutions for cultural understanding: medical students’ perspective

“Our house is on fire.” 16 year-old Greta Thunberg wants action

Venice will now start charging tourists an entrance fee

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

How China raised the stakes for electric vehicles

The deforestation risks lurking in the banking sector

EU to lead one more fight against climate change at G7 summit

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

How well you age depends on what you think of old age

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

The Americans are preparing for the next financial crisis

The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

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