EU budget and finance ministers have cut almost two billion euros off the draft general budget for the 2009 financial year. At a meeting in Brussels, they approved total budget expenditure of just under 115 billion euros, that is 4.7% less than for 2008.
French Budget Minister Eric Woerth said: “The Council has reached a unanimous agreement on the draft budget, that is already a good place to be. Now we have to discuss this with the Parliament and there are some important points that have to be decided.”
Among the cuts – 500 million euros from the money for safeguarding the environment and 720 million from projects to increase European competitiveness and employment. The budget could be modified again after proposals from individual Member States are made in November.