EU budget talks
Yesterday 8 December, Eurozone finance ministers met to discuss the 2015 draft budgetary plans of the Member States, and to negotiate on the 2015 EU budget.
Discussing the European Commission’s opinion on the 2015 Member States’ draft budgetary plans, the discussion mainly concerned France. Ministers agreed with the European Commission proposal to give France 3 more months to fix its budget deficit. They also stated that additional measures by the French government are needed to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact. Italy and Belgium also received 3 more months to adopt extra measures in order to comply with the budget deficit and debt rules. Conclusions on all countries can be found here.
Eurozone ministers also discussed the Greek adjustment programme and post-programme surveillance for Ireland and Portugal. They extended Greece’s bailout programme by two months, and Dijselbloem expressed confidence that the government in Athens will agree with the troika (Commisison, ECB, IMF) on outstanding measures. The extension will have to be approved by some national parliaments including the German and Dutch parliaments. Conclusions can be found here.
A meeting between representatives of the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission on the 2015 EU Budget and amendments to the 2014 EU Budget ended with a new proposal by the Council. Today ambassadors of EU Member States will meet to consider a deal on the 2014 and 2015 budgets, as the deadline for an agreement is this Friday, 12 December. If a deal is reached, the European Parliament can ratify the budget proposals in Strasbourg next week.