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COUNCIL FAVOURS 2% INCREASE FOR 2012.

The Council's Budget Committee has hammered out a provisional common position on the 2012 EU budget. Member states favour a 2.02% increase in payments compared to 2011, significantly below the European Commission's proposed 4.9% raise (-3.6 billion euro).

According to the Council's preliminary position, payments would total 129.1 billion euro, ie 0.98% of the gross national income (GNI), and commitments would increase 2.9% and stand at 146.2 billion euro (1.11% of GNI). The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) is due to adopt formally the Council's position, on 7 July.

The brunt of the slimming-down of the EU executive's draft proposal is spread over two headings: competitiveness (Heading 1a), which is chopped 1.1 billion euro in payments and 0.7 billion in commitments, and cohesion (Heading 2), which is trimmed 1.3 billion euro in payments. Agricultural expenditure also takes a hit: direct payments and market-related expenditure go down 0.6 billion euro in payments and commitments.

Three-way Parliament, Council and Commission talks will take place on the 2012 EU budget on 11 July. The plenary has already backed the 4.9% increase in payments as proposed by the EU executive in its draft budget. An arm-wrestling between Parliament and Council to reach an agreement on the figures appears unavoidable.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jul 4, 2011
Words:218
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