In Brussels this morning, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore reached a political agreement with the European Parliament and the European Commission on the EU budget for the next seven years.
The Taoiseach and Tánaiste will now present this political agreement to EU member states for their endorsement.
Speaking in Brussels this morning, the Taoiseach said:
"This is an important day for Europe. Our political agreement this morning is an example of the EU rising to a challenge. Where there is belief, cooperation and conviction, Europe can deliver."
The Tánaiste, who acted as lead negotiator on behalf of member states, said:
"Concluding agreement on the EU budget has been an Irish Presidency priority Since the beginning of our Presidency. Today's political agreement represents a fair compromise that can be supported by all institutions. Once finalised, this unlocks €960 billion in investment in growth and jobs over the next seven years."
EU member states must now endorse the agreement before it is sent to the European Parliament for a vote.
Last February, the European Council agreed on the EU budget for the next seven years, the Multi Annual Financial Framework (MFF). The Irish Presidency was mandated on behalf of member states to secure the agreement of the European Parliament.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, together with the Minister of State for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, has been leading negotiations with the European Parliament.