EU member states have approved a proposal to limit the increase in next year’s budget to 2.9% compared to 2010.
The agreement, reached by member states’ ambassadors yesterday (1 December), paves the way for a new round of negotiations between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament on next year’s EU budget. Those talks are planned to start on Monday (6 December).
EU officials said member states made no changes to a draft budget presented by the European Commission on 26 November.
Member states also reached a provisional deal on a new flexibility instrument for the EU budget that will be transposed into EU law, and they agreed on a proposal to finance construction of an international experimental fusion reactor (ITER), to be built in southern France. Member states also backed a political declaration on the role of the Parliament in negotiations on a new multi-annual budget plan.
The proposal presented by the Commission foresees a budget of €126.5 billion for 2011 and is based on the Council’s demand for the increase to be limited to 2.9% compared to 2010.
MEPs agreed to the limited increase in return for a greater say in negotiations on the post-2013 multi-annual spending programme.
The Parliament’s budgets committee has planned a vote on the budget proposal for Wednesday (8 December) in the hope that a deal can be reached with the Council before then.
If both sides reach agreement, the Parliament will vote on the budget during its plenary session on 13-16 December. The Council plans to hold a vote on 10 December.
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