The EU’s chief budget negotiator Herman Van Rompuy, has tabled modest cuts to the contentious EU spending plans for 2014-2020 in late night talks in Brussels. He delayed talks for 5 hours as he was unsure whether any compromise could be made.
The sum, at almost 1 trillion euros has become subject to hot debate, although it represents 1% of EU GDP. Net contributors to the EU budget like the UK and Germany want to see cuts in keeping with austerity back home, whilst net beneficiaries like Poland and Spain argue for higher spending to boost the EU economy.
Even if the 27 heads of state and government reach a deal, the European parliament has the power to block it, and they’re unwilling to accept a budget that won’t live up to Europe’s promises.
The horsetrading looks set to continue into the early hours, as any one of the heads of state could reject a deal. If no agreement is made on the 2014-2020 spending, this year’s budget will roll over to the next year, meaning a 2% increase in keeping with inflation.