Farming and regional aid as usual top European plans for the 2009 budget. But the European Commission’s outline foresees a cut in spending for the first time in several years. And Brussels says it will not propose anything for the spending cycle after 2013 until the Lisbon Treaty has been fully ratified. It does not want to risk interference. Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite: “In the new treaty there are very good political accents made, such as new challenges – very clearly defined – such as energy supply and environmental and warming questions, innovation, the necessity for innovation and research. These are all political agreements which have been reached already in a draft Lisbon Treaty. They are good for us to look how and in what direction we can spend European money in the future.” The Commission’s 2009 draft budget set spending at 116.7 billion euros, four billion less than the 2008 plan, which should please the net contributors. The biggest net contibutor to the communal coffers, Germany, has already warned it is not feeling generous for the 2013-2020 cycle. Negotiating an overhaul of the EU budget is due to start next year. Governments in the past have cut the spending plans, with the European Parliament putting up stiff resistance.
EC holds off future budget plans till Lisbon ratified