EP Budgets Committee says 2014 budget comes first
According to Budgets Committee MEPs, giving the European Union a budget has to take priority over redistributing resources to EU member states. After a third fruitless effort on Tuesday to engage the Council of Ministers in budgetary negotiations within the official deadline, MEPs stressed that they see ensuring settlement of the most urgent bills for 2014 as a priority before discussing the 2015 budget. However, the Council so far has not agreed to even the first budget top up, which had been proposed by the European Commission in May 2014. The Council did not discuss how outstanding bills for 2014 should be paid at its recent meeting on 7 November 2014.
The European Parliament insists on first determining how unpaid bills will be paid in 2014 before negotiating fresh funding for member state projects in 2015. In order to be able to come to an agreement in time, Parliament has asked the Council to present its stance by Thursday, 16 November. The 21-day conciliation period between Council and Parliament expires on Friday, 17 November 2014, Both institutions have to approve the outcome of the conciliation talks.