EU Budget Talks End in Deadlock, Retry in 2013, Bulgaria Optimistic

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | November 23, 2012, Friday // 19:09| Views: | Comments: 3
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Bulgaria: EU Budget Talks End in Deadlock, Retry in 2013, Bulgaria Optimistic UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo by EPA/BGNES

European Union leaders failed to reach agreement on Friday on the bloc's 2014-2020 budget, with  European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announcing that talks will resume early next year.

The talks were called off in less than two days, as most countries rejected deeper spending cuts demanded by Britain and its allies.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said the talks had failed due to "important differences of opinion - especially in overall size of the budget".

The European Commission had originally called for a budget of EUR v1.025 trillion, BBC has reminded.

Its position was supported by the European Parliament and a number of countries, including Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary and Spain.

While most states backed some increase in the budget, several, mostly the big net contributors, argued it was unacceptable at a time of austerity.

Speaking after the summit, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that Brussels seemed to live in a "parallel universe" in which cuts were not necessary.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was sympathetic towards Cameron's view - but no more than she was to all countries involved in the discussion.

"The discussions, both the bilateral discussions and the common discussion, have shown us that there is sufficient potential for an agreement," she added.

French President Francois Hollande said the summit had made "progress".

"There were no threats, no ultimatums," he told reporters. "Angela Merkel and I both agreed that it would be better to take some time out because we want there to be an agreement."

Without naming the UK, he also said it was time the system of budget rebates was reconsidered.

"It is a paradox, because some net contributors [EU countries that pay in more than they get back] get some of the money back even though they are in a situation where they are wealthy enough for them not to get this money back," he said.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite remarked that the atmosphere at the summit had been "surprisingly good because the divergence in opinions was so large that there was nothing to argue about".

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov however voiced optimism at the end of the summit, saying talks helped each country understand the important differences of opinion, a crucial prerequisite for solving them next year.

"We all feel more optimistic because we came here with very divergent views and requests. Now we are better aware of what each country wants, more familiar with the problems of the other members," said Borisov.

Commenting the future budget implications for Bulgaria, he said the country has a chance to be allocated more money for infrastructure, competitiveness and administrative capacity projects.

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» To the forumComments (3)
Jerry - 24 Nov 2012 // 12:45:41

Peter Great Point!

I remember the old speech of Martin Luther King, "I have a Dream", I dream that the Balkans - Eurasia with Russia open a Economic Zone Link with Turkey bridging Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey as a Trade Zone for the development of Jobs , Technology and Industry.

I feel we will need Israel to contribute in Food Security and Irrigation System Manangement expand trade for the Middle East in Agricultural production using the Arab Development Bank, USAID, EU Funds and the World Bank.

Africa is not meeting Food requirements as seen in Malawi, close to two million people with food shortages

China should be a partner with well defined economic policy.

peterperfect - 24 Nov 2012 // 11:13:03

The main net contributors to the EU budget are the members whose economies are hugely affected by the global turndown and the countries who, in the main, are requesting their own peoples make large sacrifices to bring their own budgets into control, hardly surprising then that they (UK included) want to see a similar reigning in of the EU spending.

Not surprising also is the stance of the poorer (often ex communist countries) who will benefit most from an increase in EU spending, they want want an increase. The two need not be apposed to each other as suggested though. The EU could agree a "mark time" budget (no increase) for the next period but, within that framework, could increase spending in certain countries. This may mean sacrificing other goals but that would only be for the period of this budget period, all being well, in 7 years time, we may all be back on track. If we are not then the EU make be in its final days.

Jerry - 24 Nov 2012 // 01:57:05

Hey Guys!

Define a Monetary Policy and its relationship to Dollars, Euros, Gold and Cash Commodities.

Next define the Chinese Trade Policies.

Maybe now you can sit down a prepare a BUDGET in REALITY.

But do not forget, do not step on SOVERIGN RIGHTS and do not forget that the Balkan Bloc is in the future and must be reckoned.!

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