British Prime Minister David Cameron has been leading efforts to stop the European Parliament from increasing the EU budget by almost 6% in 2011.
The UK and ten other countries have made clear that they feel a regulatory minimum 2.9% increase is the most they could defend at home, where they are wrestling with national spending.
Cameron’s supporters included France and Germany.
The European parliament has the power to push over the EU budget. That body’s President, Jerzy Buzek, at the EU summit, accepted that leaders felt squeezed. He said the parliament would work responsibly towards funding longer-term policies which benefit the whole EU.