EU Budget 2019 conciliation talks suspended

After making efforts to reach a compromise on an adequate EU budget for 2019 during long hours, Parliament and Council have suspended the talks without agreement.

 The discussions will resume on Monday 19 November, the last day of the conciliation period.

First reaction on Sunday came from Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR), Chair of the Committee on Budgets.

The MEP told this site, “The discrepancy between the speeches of the EU Heads of State or Government and the behaviour of the Council of the EU is full of contempt towards the delegation of the Parliament. For us, this budget represents a political vision. We need a budget for 2019 that lives up to our words in order to support young people, research, SMEs, tackle the security challenge and the management of migration policy. And now we are fighting over a few million euros on the basis of a budget of 165 billion euros, and all this on the eve of the European elections next May. The Council's inflexibility is unbearable.”

Further comment came from Daniele Viotti (S&D, IT), lead rapporteur (Commission section of the EU budget)

She said, “I am still looking forward to find an efficient and fair agreement for the benefit of the citizens with the Council on Monday, even though the latter demonstrated an irresponsible rigidity today which made it impossible to go on with the talks. It’s about money for the citizen, to be used for EU programmes which create growth and jobs, money which the Council is holding back.”

 Paul Rubig (EPP, AT), rapporteur for the other sections, noted, “In the space of 15 years, the EU budget has gone from 1.2% of the EU’s GNI to 0.9%. The Council should also take notice of the fact that around 94% of the EU Budget goes back to the member states: to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses.”

 Should the Conciliation Committee fail to find an agreement on a joint text within a 21-day-period – which ends on Monday 19 November at midnight –, a new draft budget must be submitted by the Commission. 

If the Conciliation Committee does agree on a joint text within the deadline, then Parliament and the Council have 14 days from the date of that agreement in which to approve the joint text.

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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