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EU leaders to discuss climate change budget

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EU leaders to discuss climate change budget
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Climate change and how to combat it has become priority for the new EU Commission in terms of policy and budget.

EU leaders will discuss the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) at the Summit on 17 and 18 October and are expected to present their position afterwards.

The MFF deals with a financial volume of around €1.3 trillion, and how this huge sum will be spent in the next decade. The negotiations therefore revolve around financial possibilities and burdens as well as their distribution among the member states.

"Actually we have a problem, that the EU is an economic giant, a commercial giant but a budget dwarf. There, the EU budget committee we are currently fighting to reach 1,25-1,3% of GDP to get a European budget. Imagine that the U.S., their federal budget is 23% of GDP," French MEP David Cormand explained.

The southern and eastern European member states pleaded to continue agricultural and cohesion policy at the same level and increase the overall budget, while the net contributors urged limiting and change spending priorities of the MFF.

"If you have new challenges, they should be financed with fresh money and not at the cost of cohesion and agriculture because cohesion and agriculture are making Europe visible in every corner of the EU. But I just expect the so-called transition fund that should enable countries like my country that is still so much coal dependent to move toward much greener energy," Polish MEP Janusz Lewandowski said.

Then of course there is Brexit. Whether a hard or soft exit, how the UK leaves will ultimately affect the EU's budget.

And other news in brief...

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said he will collaborate with the Belgian justice once the authorities receive notification of the European Arrest warrant by the Spanish judge.

Puigdemont will have to appear before the investigating judge and would then need to testify before the public prosecutor or present himself in a police station.

This is the third time that the Spanish Supreme Court ask for his extradition. The last time, in summer 2018, Germany turned down the European arrest warrant.

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