Today in Brussels (Monday 13 May) formal three-way negotiations got underway on the EU’s €960 billion fund for 2014-2020, the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF).
Speaking after the talks with the European Parliament and the European Commission, the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, said: "We got off to a good start today in our negotiations. Having heard the European Parliament’s views, I am convinced that, if there is a will on all sides, we can reach an agreement during our Presidency on an EU budget to support investment and jobs. Time is of the essence."
The talks today focussed on the issues of flexibility, review, financing the budget and on the unity of the budget.
It was agreed today that a further round of political trilogue negotiations will take place on 28 May and intense official level negotiations will take place in coming days.
These negotiations on the MFF are continuing in parallel to negotiations on amending the EU budget for 2013. Minister Noonan will lead discussions on the 2013 draft amending budget among EU Finance Ministers in the ECOFIN Council tomorrow, Tuesday 14 May.
The Irish team (Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and the Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton) is representing the views of EU member states in the three-way (trilogue) talks. EU leaders in February gave the Irish Presidency a mandate to secure the European Parliament’s agreement to the EU budget for 2014-2020.
Securing this agreement to underpin stability, jobs and growth, is a major goal of the Irish Presidency Programme.