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EU budget talks blocked, new summit in March likely

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 21, 2020
Major contributors to the European Union’s budget blocked progress at an emergency summit today, insisting that they would not stump up more funds for the bloc’s next long term spending package, worth around one trillion euros ($1.1 trillion).
Charles Michel
Economy in Europe   EU Council President Charles Michel
The so called Frugal Four of Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden believe the EU’s 2021 to 2027 budget, which is meant to fund ambitious climate change and digital economy policies, should amount to 1% of the 27 nation trading bloc’s gross national income.

Topics: Budget

EU Council President Charles Michel, who met with EU leaders throughout the night trying to broker a compromise, has tabled a draft budget of 1.074% of GNI. The European Parliament wants an ambitious 1.3%, while the EU’s powerful executive arm, the European Commission, prefers 1.11%.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that another summit would be required, probably in early March.

Broadly speaking, the Frugal Four with the backing of Germany are lined up against the Friends of Cohesion, a group of mainly central and eastern European nations who want to see the continued flow of “cohesion funds” money earmarked to help develop poorer regions.