A disappointed president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, has pointed the finger of blame at a few member states as talks over the bloc’s 2011 budget collapsed.
MEPs offered to drop their demand for an increase of just over six per cent and to back a 2.9 per cent budget hike. But they also wanted guarantees of a more equal say in future budget negotiations.
This appears to have been too much for the governments of Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands, and no deal was agreed.
In theory the European Commission should propose another budget draft and restart its approval procedure from scratch.
However, there are hopes that next year’s finances can be given the go-ahead if government leaders are willing to add it to the agenda at the EU’s summit in mid-December.