EU increases 2012 budget by two per cent

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

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The European Union budget for 2012 has been increased by two per cent, despite European authorities targeting a budget increase of approximately five per cent for next year. The budget will now stand at 129,000,000,000 (US$174,000,000,000 or £110,000,000,000).

Negotiators at the EU reached this decision after fifteen hours of discussions on the matter. The European Commission had wished for a budget increase of 4.9% for 2012. At the same time, the European Parliament was aiming to achieve an increase of 5.2%. Such targets were objected to by the governments of various EU member countries; they were considered “unrealistic”.

Cquote1.svg We have stopped the … inflation-busting proposals and have delivered on the [UK] government’s promise to freeze the EU budget in real terms Cquote2.svg

Mark Hoban, UK Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The UK government welcomed the result, describing it as “excellent”. British Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban explained: “We have stopped the European Commission and European Parliament’s inflation-busting proposals and have delivered on the government’s promise to freeze the EU budget in real terms”. One argument the British government has maintained for objecting to the European Commission and European Parliament’s requests is, “with member states facing tough decisions on spending at home, we could not afford these unrealistic demands”, according to Hoban.

Janusz Lewandowski, EU Budget Commissioner, has described the outcome as “clearly an austerity budget” and has expressed concern about the “serious risk that the European Commission will run out of funds in the course of next year, and will therefore not be able to honour all its financial obligations towards beneficiaries of EU funds”.

Now, concern should be given towards the discussions about the long-term budget of the EU between the years 2014 and 2020, Hoban believes. BBC News Online has reported that the British government is anticipated to reject proposals from the European Commission to raise the long-term budget by five per cent. According to the Press Association, the Commission wants to increase the budget by eleven per cent in comparison to the seven years prior.