Ireland aims to secure agreement on EU budget before end of Irish Presidency.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will travel to Brussels later today to begin formal negotiations on the EU’s €960 billion budget, or Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF).
It follows last week’s crunch talks in the Belgian capital where the Taoiseach and Tánaiste met with the presidents of the European Parliament and Commission, Martin Schulz and Manuel Barroso. At that meeting, agreement was reached on how to proceed with formal MFF negotiations.
The Tánaiste, who will be joined by Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton T.D., will meet today with negotiators from the European Parliament, led by Mr Alain Lamassoure MEP, and negotiators from the European Commission, led by Commissioner Lewandowski.
Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, the Tánaiste said: “We managed to unlock the talks’ process at our meeting last week after a period during which they had stalled. My aim now is to get the European Parliament’s agreement on €960 billion in EU funding for the next seven years before the end of June.
Tánaiste - "Time is of the essence. We need to reach overall agreement before the end of the Irish Presidency to make sure the new funds can be in place by the end of this year. This funding will be vital to support jobs, growth and competitiveness across Europe.”
The proposed €960 billion EU funding for 2014-2020 includes:
- A total of €91 billion for improving European competitiveness
- €80 billion for research and innovation through the Horizon 2020 Programme
- €325 billion for building cohesion among Europe’s regions through structural funds
- €6 billion specifically for tackling youth unemployment
- €30 billion for improving European transport, energy and digital networks
- €19 billion for the Erasmus to support student exchanges
Negotiations on the MFF are continuing in parallel to negotiations on the Draft Amending Budget (DAB) for 2013. Talks on the DAB are being taken forward by Minister Michael Noonan and his team in the Ecofin Council.
In February, EU leaders gave the Irish Presidency a mandate to secure the European Parliament’s agreement to the EU budget. The European Parliament must give its ‘consent’ to the budget.
As Chair of the General Affairs Council during Ireland’s Presidency, the Tánaiste is representing the views of EU member states in the three-way budget talks.
The Irish Presidency is also working to get agreement among Member States on over 60 EU programmes and funds, from Erasmus, to the Common Agricultural Policy, to EU research & development funding.
Securing agreement on the EU’s future financing and advancing work on each of the EU programmes underpinning stability, jobs and growth, is a major goal of the Irish Presidency Programme.
Notes for Editors
Want to know more about the €960 billion EU budget? Read our Presidency explainer
Graphic guides to the process can be found here