Fri Nov 23, 2012, 09:42 AM
marmar (63,335 posts)
EU Budget Summit Heading toward Failure
from Der Spiegel:
Despite hours of talks in Brussels on Thursday night, European Union leaders made little progress toward agreement on the bloc's budget for the years 2014 to 2020. Britain and other countries have remained steadfast in their demands for cuts. A second summit looks to be the only likely outcome.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz began losing his temper as time wore on. It is "extremely irresponsible," he told the 27 European Union heads of state and government gathered in Brussels, when EU member states deny the bloc necessary funding. The €1.091 trillion budget proposed by the European Commission, he said, is commensurate because it will also stimulate growth.
Schulz spoke just before midnight as the European Union budget summit, aimed at agreeing on bloc funding for the seven-year period between 2014 and 2020, finally got underway after a three-hour delay. His plea had little effect, though. British Prime Minister David Cameron, his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte and Swedish Premier Fredrik Reinfeldt continued to demand billions in cuts. German Chancellor Angela Merkel likewise found the proposed budget to be too large.
Every seven years, European Union leaders must come together to agree on a new spending plan, and this year's Commission proposal has been particularly controversial. At a time when many EU countries have tightened their belts significantly, an increase to the EU budget, slight though it may be, has not proven popular among net contributors. They would like to see the budget cut to between €890 billion (the British target) and €960 billion (as Germany has proposed). But the 17 net recipient countries support the higher Commission proposal. ..................(more)
The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/european-union-leaders-in-brussels-fail-to-reach-agreement-on-budget-a-868872.html
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -- Nelson Mandela
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EU Budget Summit Heading toward Failure (Original post)
Response to marmar (Original post)
Fri Nov 23, 2012, 10:31 AM
pampango (15,312 posts)
1. NYT: Hopes Fade for Quick Deal on European Union Budget
Leaders resumed haggling over a trillion-euro budget for the European Union in a second day of talks on Friday but played down expectations of a deal before the weekend amid bitter divisions over where cuts should fall.
The negotiating marathon over the budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework, is held every seven years and, focused on hard cash, tends to push national interests to the fore and swamp feel-good talk of European harmony, a cause for which the Norwegian Nobel Committee last month named the European Union as the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
The budget, which amounts to about 130 billion euros per year, goes mostly to subsidize farmers and support regional projects in poorer member states, policies that were originally intended to help bind Europe together and mute the economic discord that in the past fueled antagonisms that led to bloody wars.
Much of the attention at the special budget summit meeting has focused on demands for deep cuts by Mr. Cameron. ... and that is a position that has put it at odds with Paris... Failure to achieve these would likely intensify growing hostility toward the Union in Britain and could even help prod the country in the direction of one day pulling out of the group altogether.
Sounds like conservative in the UK and Germany are pushing for more austerity while the new socialist government in France is fighting against this. Hopefully, conservative efforts to further cut support for EU countries will not continue to be successful. These "policies that were originally intended to help bind Europe together and mute the economic discord that in the past fueled antagonisms that led to bloody wars." Still an admirable goal.
We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations far away. ... We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community. ... We shall strive for perfection. ... We may make mistakes, but they must never be mistakes which result from faintness of heart or abandonment of moral principle.