20/11/2012 - General Affairs Council (GAC)
Final preparations for summit on 2014-2020 budget framework
On 20 November, the General Affairs Council held its last meeting before the special European Council on 22-23 November. The summit is dedicated to the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020.
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"All member states show commitment to reach an agreement by the end of this week and are willing to negotiate", said Andreas Mavroyiannis, Cyprus Deputy Minister for European Affairs, after the meeting. "All of us now have to go the extra mile and show our willingness to compromise. We believe that an agreement is possible."
The matter is now in the hands of European leaders. President Van Rompuy will consider member states' reactions to the draft European Council conclusions and present a revised draft of the conclusions.
The aim of the MFF negotiations is broadly to define for the next budget cycle:
- expenditure limits that determine how much money the EU can spend;
- spending programmes that determine on what the money should be spent;
- rules defining how the expenditure should be financed.
The objective of the European Council is to reach an agreement on the MFF 2014-2020 on the basis of draft conclusions prepared by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, in cooperation with the Commission. The draft includes further reductions on the overall expenditure ceilings and on the expenditure ceilings for various categories of expenditure: Competitiveness; Cohesion; Natural Resources; Security and Citizenship; Global Europe; and Administration.
On Thursday, the first summit day, Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, will hold bilateral consultations with the member states.