Council calls for realism in EU budget negotiations with EP
On 19 October 2015, the current Luxembourg Council Presidency issued "a note of caution and realism" ahead of the conciliation talks with the European Parliament (EP) on the EU budget for 2016.
At a trilogue meeting with the EP and the European Commission, Pierre Gramegna, the finance minister of Luxembourg said, "We all agree that we are facing major political challenges which require us to take exceptional measures and to mobilise extraordinary financial support. But we cannot continue simply to increase the EU budget without any limits. We have to address the current situation whilst fully respecting the constraints on our finances in the light of clearly justified priorities".
In its position on the 2016 EU budget adopted on 4 September 2015, the Council had set out cuts to the EU budget in several fields, also including Horizon 2020. The EP has so far been highly critical of these cuts, and the EP's Budgets Committee has suggested a number of amendments. The Council points out that If the EP plenary on 28 October 2015 confirms these amendments, the budget would then exceed the expenditure ceilings also accepted by the Parliament in the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020. After the EP plenary vote, a three-week conciliation period will start on 29 October 2015, with the aim of bridging the gap between the Council's and the Parliament's positions.
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