British Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed he has won France and Germany’s support to cap the European Union’s budget. The EU’s next long-term spending plan (for seven years) begins in 2014.
From the level in 2013, Cameron and others, notably the Netherlands, want it increased only to keep up with inflation. The real negotiations will start next year.
Some questioned Cameron bringing this up at a debt crisis summit.
He said: “What is different to perhaps in the past is quite early in this process, the French, the German and the British have come together, and said ‘look we have really got to get a control of this budget and we can not see it going up and up and up and things need to change.’”
Only growing by inflation would mean the budget in real terms would shrink.
The leader of the European Parliament’s socialist group, Martin Schulz, noted the opinions of poorer countries: “The Council is split and I take a note about this proposal but my experience is that it is a proposal and not the result. Let us negotiate, during the next two years, a reasonable long-term European budget.”
Earlier this week, a Swedish MEP said member states wanting to slash the EU budget would face permanent trench warfare.