Tag Archives: budget

EU leaders reached recovery&budget deal

«We have reached a deal on the recovery package and the European budget. These were, of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans. A marathon which ended in success for all 27 member states, but especially for the people. This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe, right now» said Charles Michel, the president of the European Counil.

«And the decision that is made is not a virtual decision. It is a concrete decision that will have and must have a positive impact to ensure that we can look to the future with the determination to be up to this challenge » Michel concluded.

According to Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, who was seen by many as “Mister No” of the meeting, imposing reforms in exchange of grants, the Netherlands ultimately does not have to pay extra for the entire package that European leaders have agreed on.
The Dutch taxpayers will contribute €1.9 billion in membership fees, which €500 million less than during the previous financial period.

The Netherlands is also allowed to retain more customs income. That amounts to about two billion euros. Due to its favorable location, many goods are shipped via the port of Rotterdam and Dutch customs collect money there, because it is the external border of the European Union. Initially, the European Commission wanted to keep all this money itself, but now the Netherlands is allowed to let a large part of it flow into its own treasury.

The East European countires from Visegrad Four group, namely Poland and Hungary, declared their victory, refusing the claims of Dutch Prime minister to conntect grants reception to reforms obligations. “…We have also protected our national pride. We have successfully refused all attempts that would have tied access to EU funds to “rule of law criteria” wrote press-person of Hungarian goverenment on his Twitter blog.

Following the tradition of the Council meetings all the leaders declared “victory” – French President Macron delcared the day of the deal “historical“.

A massive recovery plan is adopted: a common loan to respond to the crisis in a united manner and invest in our future. We never did! France has relentlessly carried this ambition” Macron wrote on his Twitter blog.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union leaders had come to a “good conclusion” after a €1.8 trillion budget for next sever years and coronavirus recovery fund were finally agreed on after days of talks.

However not everyone was impressed by the results of the four days marathon talks. “A hardworking garbage collector is being cheated by Prime Minister Rutte. The Italians and Spaniards do get their money. Hundreds of billions in loans and gifts.
Paid by the garbage collector and the rest of the Netherlands. Vote #Rutte away!
” wrote Dutch Member of the Parliament Geert Wilders.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is “very satisfied”, because he gets €82 billion in “gifts – from our money – while Italians are three times richer than the Dutch“, Wilders continues, explaining they “hardly pay tax there”, and Dutch people are going to pay for them, because of Mark Rutte “weak knees“.

Next to political opponents the criticism of the deal came from the youth, who blamed the leaders the absence of ambition in support of Digital Europe, Horizon, Just Transition Fund (JTF) for vulnérable European. territories, suffering from climate change, European Neighbourhood policy (ENP ) and those who thought that with the Brexit the “era of rebates is finally over”.

EUCO: Michel scales down grants

In a search of compromise the president of the European Council Charles Michel came forward with the proposal to scales down the grants (subsidies) in recovery & resilience facility (RRF) fund €672.5bn, of which loans €360bn & grants €312.5bn, 70% of grants provided in 2021-2022, 30% in 2023. The proposal constitutes a significant change in comparasion to the original plan of €750bn, consisting from €500bn in grants and €250bn in loans, announced at the beginning of the Summit on July 17.

Since our last summit in June, we have worked intensively with all of you and taken due note of your concerns. On that basis I have put forward a proposal to address the key difficulties and to build bridges between the different positions. Finding agreement will require hard work and political will on the part of all. Now is the time. A deal is essential. We will need to find workable solutions and come to an agreement, for the greater benefit of our citizens” Charles Michel wrote in this invitation letter to the leaders ahead.

EU budget Summit marathon

The European Union leaders continue the marathon negociation at Summit in Brussels on a coronavirus recovery package, and the seven year budget of the 27 members bloc.

The Leaders left the marathon summit early Monday morning hours and are plnanning to resume talks at 16:00 CET. The summit was originally planned as two-days event, ending on Saturday 19.

EU Summit have focussed on a proposed €1.68 trillion package, a seven-year budget and a coronavirus recovery fund.

Eastern Europe leaders have opposed attaching rule of law conditions, while southern European countries are rejecting demands from the so-called frugal four, now five, countries – Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Denmark – for a great sum bound by economic reform requirements.

EU Council President Charles Michel urged leaders to set aside disagreements.

“Are the 27 EU leaders capable of building European unity and trust or, because of a deep rift, will we present ourselves as a weak Europe, undermined by distrust,” he said according to Euronews reports.

Early Monday morning, Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz tweeted that “tough negotiations had ended” but that leaders can be “very happy with today’s result.”

Prime Minister Rutte reacted at the the frustarions among some of the leaders: “I don’t really care” Dutch Prime Minister said during the pause in talks.
“I’m not distracted by background noise” he added. “I’m fighting for Dutch people and a strong Europe.”

Dutch Rutte is «not opitimistic»

«Hard work» lies ahead said the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the doorstep of the European Summit (#EUCO) on recovery and long-term budget. However he underlined that due to prepararty period the positions of everyone became clear, and it also became more visible where the «bridges can be built», but of paramount importance is the conducting reforms in the countries which are at utmost in need of the European subsides, to make sure that this kind of situation is the last one.

«If the [member-states in need] are willing to receve subsides above the borrowing, it is very important to be sure that the reforms are conducted there» Rutte has underlined.
Dutch head of government said that he is not «optimistic», but from the other hand «you never know», because nobody is interested to «come together again», but still there are very difficult issues to be agreed upon.

«Nobody is willing to bring to standstill Brussels traffic once again in two week time, however it is not about the speed but about the content», Rutte joked whiling continuing. “Yes” to solidarity, but everything should be done that the countries, which are suffering from the crisis the most, would be able to cope with it the next time. The answer lies in the reforms of the labour market, the pensions reforms, etc. Being against subsidies, the Dutch government sill finds they are possible step, in case there are reforms guarantees, which are crucial. Because the funds should go from the North to the South “in principle last time”.

The Prime Minister has also explained the significance of the consistency of his position on reforms as a condition for two major reasons: the profound need of the stability of Europe in the “unstable world”, with such authoritarian players as China, the U.S., the situation in the Middle East, and role Russia is playing, and the second reason is the EU internal market, which should recover. He also put the Netherlands as an example of a strong internal market, which allows the country the speedy recovery in crisis.

However, Rutte has underlined, that he does not consider the veto perspective, but the power of reasoning as his major advantage, making the point that he does not have any aces in the sleeves.

“We don’t believe in grants set system. It is crucial to maintain the rebates on the sufficient level, and we still need to negotiate what is the sufficient level, and we need the reforms. If the South is in need of help, in terms of coping with crisis we understand that, because they have limited scope of dealing with it financially themselves, it is reasonable for us to ask for the clear commitments to reforms. If the part of loans are converted to grants, then the reforms are absolutely crucial, and we need guarantees that they would take place” Rutte said at doorstep of the Summit. “The EU economies should come of the crisis more résiliant, we need a strong Europe in an unstable world” he said. “The countries who are lagging behind in terms of reforms should steep up” he added.

Rutte also rebuffed the rumours and insinuations, underlining that he works for “strong’ Europe, which is also in the interest of the Dutch citizens – the guarantees instead of “insurances”. Among issues significant for his country he named the rebates.

“A weak compromise will not take Europe further” Rutte said.

The first round of negotiation has started between Dutch Rutte and French President Macron.

Mark Rutte added that he had dinner with the Italian Prime Minister Conte in The Hague, and he is sure that under Conte leadership Italy will pursue further the way for reforms. He also underlined that the personal relationship between both politicians have been always marked by mutual respect.

Michel: MFF budget talks continue

“The last weeks and the last days, we have worked very hard in order to try to reach an agreement regarding the next European budget” EU Council president Charles Michel said, concluding in Brussels two Multiannual Financial Framework or seven year budget of the European Union.

“Unfortunately, today we have observed that it was not possible to reach an agreement. We have observed that we need more time. We know that this European budget is a very difficult topic, it’s a very difficult negotiation, especially after Brexit and the gap between 60 and 75 billion euro.

“We have worked very hard to try to reconcile the different concerns, the different interests, the different opinions on the table. But we need more time. It means that we will see in the future how it is possible to work on this topic in order to succeed, in order to get an agreement in the Council, to have unanimity in the Council.”

“Je voudrais également remercier l’ensemble des délégations et les chefs d’État et de gouvernement qui ont été très mobilisés pour tenter de travailler techniquement, politiquement avec nous, remercier bien sûr la Commission, Ursula von der Leyen et l’ensemble de son équipe pour tout le support qui a été donné tout au long des dernières semaines et des derniers jours.

“Et nous restons évidemment très engagés, très déterminés. Nous savons que le projet européen est un projet qui nécessite des efforts et de la ténacité, de la constance et de la détermination. C’est cet esprit qui nous habite, qui nous anime. Nous sommes évidemment lucides sur la nature des contraintes et des enjeux auxquels nous sommes confrontés. Nous savons qu’il y a beaucoup de sujets sur la table des institutions européennes et cette réunion aujourd’hui, hier et cette nuit, c’est une réunion qui nous apprend aussi sur la manière dont on peut tenter à l’avenir de faire avancer ce projet européen.”

Sassoli defends MEPs position on EU budget

President David Sassoli reminded EU leaders Parliament approval is needed for the EU seven years budget (MFF) and said MEPs would not accept agreement irrelevant to the European ambitions.

Sassoli was speaking at the start of an EU Council (EUCO) aimed at finding an agreement between member states on the EU’s next long-term budget. The budget for 2021-2027 will be the first since the UK left the EU.

The speaker told the heads of state and government that Parliament was prepared to reject any agreement that did not give the EU the means to address the many challenges it faces.

“We must equip the Union with all the means necessary to address the challenges that we face together,” he said. “The first and most urgent is climate change. The Green Deal offers an ambitious plan for Europe to become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. Achieving this will require a major financial effort.

“We need resources to boost growth and development, and to support countries, businesses, and people through this transition. We also need to invest in research to ensure Europe is at the forefront and does not need to rely on importing new technologies to whose development it has not contributed.”

He also said that “the artificial dichotomy between net contributors and beneficiaries” should be broken. “All member states, without exception, profit from the EU.”

Parliament agreed its position on the long-term budget in 2018. Any agreement can only come into effect if approved by the Parliament.

Michel: EU budget talks “progress possible”

“I am grateful to the EU leaders for the hard work we’ve done together.

There are many legitimate concerns, but I am convinced that it is possible to make progress” the European Council president Charles Michel said ahead of the Council meeting on seven year budget of the block. (Image above: archive)

https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1230457528737243137?s=21

EU heads of state or government will discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 during a special meeting of the European Council on 20 February 2020. In his invitation letter, the President of the European Council said: “The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the multiannual financial framework.”

Merkel predicts “difficult” EU budget Summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that talks to set the European Union’s budget for the coming seven years will be “very difficult” at an extraordinary summit beginning February 20 in Brussels.

We think our concerns are not sufficiently addressed on many points, and I therefore see very tough and difficult negotiations ahead,” Merkel told reporters at a Berlin press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (pictured).

Germany and Finland belong to the circle of mainly northern European EU members that pay more into the EU budget than they get out, known as net contributors“.

EU heads of state or government will discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 during a special meeting of the European Council on 20 February 2020.

In his invitation letter, the President of the European Council Charles Michel said: “The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the multiannual financial framework.”

Michel invites to EU Council

*Following the meetings held at Sherpa level, I have decided to call a special meeting of the European Council that will begin on 20 February 2020″ reads letter of the EU president Charles Michel, inviting the EU leaders to the Council.

https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1221101581971730434?s=21

*The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the Multiannual Financial Framework.

*Any postponement would create serious practical and political problems and jeopardise the continuation of current programs and policies as well as the launch of new ones.

*I am fully aware that these negotiations are among the most difficult ones we have to face. But I am also convinced that with common sense and determination we can strike a deal that will benefit all Europeans.

*To achieve this, all sides will need to demonstrate a spirit of compromise. I count on your support in this respect.

*In the coming days I will consult with you before tabling an overall proposal in view of the February meeting, which will be prepared in the usual fashion.*

Salvini assesses EU too weak to attack Italy over budget

The European Union  has too many problems to sanction Italy for its 2019 budget, Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini said.
I don’t think the EU is enjoying a state of health such as to allow it to question and sanction Europe’s second industrial power,” he said.
Salvini added he was confident that a budget deal would be found, “we are working with alacrity on it”.
   

Italy accused the EU of “economic terrorism,” as its row with economic leaders in the bloc deepened when the EU finance ministers warned Italy that it must abide by EU rules on public spending.

The war of words between Rome and Brussels is focused on Italy’s new budget proposal, which seeks to increase spending and cut taxes, but would raise Italy’s debt and breach EU budget rules.

There are European institutions playing at bringing terrorism to the financial markets,” said Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio who heads the Five Star Movement (M5S).

« Older Entries