The EU special summit on the European Union budget for the coming seven years ended on Friday evening without any agreement, despite two days of intensive meetings and negotiations.
On the summit’s first day, the first to be attended by Prime Minister Robert Abela, discussions went into the early hours of the following morning without any progress on the differences between those countries who want to reduce the Budget and those seeking a larger Budget to meet their aspirations.
On the second day more bilateral discussions were held in the hope that a common basis will be achieved. Over and above attending bilateral discussions the PM also participated in the group that favours political cohesion seeking an increase in Budget allocation for them to be able finance projects and to attain European levels of the better off countries. The Friends of Cohesion is maintaining that such funds for transport and environmental development should not be reduced.
In comments to TVM at the end of the summit, Prime Minister Abela said that, despite the difficulties, progress was also registered.
Asked about the fact that this was his first participation at the summit and whether this affected negotiations, Dr Abela replied that this factor did not have any effect because he was well received by EU leaders and also felt the respect shown by all member states towards our country.
Once agreement is reached between member states, it will then be the European Parliament’s turn to approve it. The European Parliament has expressed its strong objection to the budget’s proposal as presented by European Council President Charles Michel.
Euro Parliament President David Sassoli made it clear during the summit that the budget is far from reaching the Parliament’s expectations of an expenditure of 230 billion euro more on the 1,087 billion euro, proposed by Michel.
The summit is expected to meet again next month with the hope of bridging differences between member states towards an agreement.
Follow hereunder the Prime Minister’s comments:
UPDATED (3): PM explains negotiations on EU budget