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European Parliament walks out on EU budget negotiations

Credit: European Parliament

Negotiations on the European Union’s budget for the next seven years, which were set to finish in July, have been postponed once more after the European Parliament walked out late Thursday night.

“We had no other choice but to interrupt the meeting,” the EP’s negotiating team told press after leaving the negotiation room, EURACTIV reported on Friday.

The delay of the budget negotiations means that the EU’s €750 billion corona recovery plan will not be activated until at least next Wednesday, when the negotiations are set to continue.

The €750 billion is part of the EU’s larger budget plan, which will need to be approved as a whole and by all EU institutions before the funds can be accessed.

“Refusing to move at all is not negotiating. MEPs will come back to the table once there is a real will from Council’s side to find an agreement,” a press release by the European Parliament stated.

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Members of the European Parliament said “no compromise is possible”, for as long as the European Council does not raise the budget “for the benefit of the citizens”.

Negotiations stalled at the end of July when the European Parliament and the European Council disagreed on the budget, with the Parliament finding that too many cut-backs had been made on multiple EU initiatives on environment and social initiatives for it to approve the budget.

Preceding the disagreement between the two institutions, the leaders of the Member States held a record-breaking four day conference before agreeing on the initial budget proposal. Disagreement arose mostly over the coronavirus recovery plan, where some felt the funds should be given out in conditional loans, and others agreed that they should be subsidies.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

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