14/11/2012 - Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
EU budget 2013: more efforts needed
The Council had to take note of the impossibility to reach an agreement with the European Parliament on the 2013 budget and other related items.
© Lucadp - Fotolia
During the whole conciliation period the Cyprus Presidency deployed major efforts to reconcile positions, and in particular during the last days, member states showed significant openness on some key items.
The Council notably approved draft amending budget no 5 for 2012 as proposed by the Commission, providing financial assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund for an amount of EUR 670 million to Italy that was hit by a series of earthquakes earlier this year. This decision is a concrete manifestation of the Council’s solidarity with Italy, reflects the Council’s commitment to keep its promises and shows its goodwill towards the European Parliament.
The mandate given to the Conciliation Committee on 23 October was to find an agreement on the 2013 Budget. However, during the whole conciliation period, the European Parliament refused to negotiate on the 2013 EU budget and set an agreement on draft amending budget 6 for 2012 as a precondition. The Council was and remains ready to discuss about all elements of the package and wished to address them simultaneously in order to find a balanced outcome which would meet the concerns of all parties and member states concerned.