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MEPs warn over EU's budget battle

MEPs warn over EU's budget battle
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Europe’s efforts to boost jobs and growth risk being undone by cuts to the EU’s budget, MEPS in Strasbourg have warned.

The European Parliament and national governments remain at loggerheads over the bloc’s 2013 spending plans.

While the EU Commission in Brussels has called for a budget increase, many member states want deep cuts.

Criticising efforts to slash the budget Spanish centre-left MEP Eider Gardiazabal
said: “At the last EU Council summit in June a few months ago, the Council agreed with the Commission and Parliament that it was essential to strike a deal on growth and jobs. Then two or three days later they proposed budget cuts in certain areas. In an effort to be consistent, the Parliament has promised to fill these funding gaps where the Council wants to cut.’‘

But Cyprus, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency has proposed slashing five billion euros off the bloc’s budget next year, to the dismay of some in Strasbourg.

“The European Union has made huge commitments over the last few years, after pressure from member states. Now, the bill for these programmes must be paid for. 207 billion euros is unaccounted for even though resources have been committed. That is why we are asking member states to honour what they promised to do,’‘ Italian centre-right MEP Giovanni La Via said.

The battle over the EU’s budget for next year appears to be only a taster of the future spending fight that lies in the years ahead.