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Brussels, 7 May 2013
Green light to launch formal talks on EU budget for 2014-2020
A meeting on Monday evening (6 May) between Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Parliament President Martin Schulz and Taoiseach Enda Kenny for the Irish Presidency of the Council ended the current stalemate and paved the way to start political negotiations on the European Union's future budget 2014-2020 between Council, Parliament and Commission and on an amending budget for 2013.
In the meeting the following was agreed:
To start formal negotiations on the MFF and in parallel to negotiate on the draft amending budget for 2013 which will be agreed in two stages, the Presidency of the Council has tabled a proposal for a first tranche of EUR 7.3 billion which will be submitted to the ECOFIN Council for approval on 14 May. This figure is EUR 3.9 billion short of the EUR 11.2 billion proposed by the Commission as the minimum needed to meet the EU's financial obligations in 2013. EUR 11.2 billion is also the amount still available under the ceiling which can be agreed by qualified majority.
The Presidency of the Council will work with Member States on a political commitment regarding the second tranche and on how they will meet the remaining obligations by early autumn. The Presidents of the European Parliament and the Commission stressed the need for EUR 11.2 billion.
Negotiations on the MFF will start with a trilogue on 13 May. These negotiations will start on the basis of the European Council conclusions of February 2013 focusing on four main points:
It was also agreed not to re-open the figures agreed on administrative expenditure (Heading 5) and accordingly to speed up the negotiations on the staff regulations which are part and parcel of the MFF package.
Both negotiations on MFF and the draft amending budget should converge as quickly as possible – but nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. The President of the European Parliament recalled the EP resolution of 13 March 2013 on the MFF which states that "the European Parliament will not conclude these negotiations before the final adoption by the Council and the Parliament of this amending budget".