EU budget summit closes with no consensus

Commenting the matter on Twitter earlier on Friday, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that the Friends of Cohesion countries represented an "ambitious Europe that must set ambitious goals." Radek Pietruszka/PAP

A special EU summit on the community's 2021-27 budget closed on Friday evening in Brussels with no consensus after countries belonging to the so-called Friends of Cohesion Group rejected the EC's budget proposal.

In its proposal, the EC suggested spending cuts by about EUR 5 billion to 1.07 percent of the gross national income of the 27 member states.

Commenting the matter on Twitter earlier on Friday, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that the Friends of Cohesion countries represented an "ambitious Europe that must set ambitious goals."

According to a document specifying the EC's budget proposals, the cuts would not affect cohesion policy, which is of key importance to Poland. Instead, reductions would affect innovation funds under the Horizon Europe programme (EUR 0.9 billion), the space programme (EUR 0.9 billion) and other reserves. The document also foresees the closure of an EUR 1.5 billion military mobility programme.

The proposed budget includes an additional EUR 4.8 bln for "political priorities and special situations" within the cohesion policy, and EUR 300 mln for the Just Transformation Fund. It also includes an extra EUR 4.4 billion for the Common Agricultural Policy, including EUR 2 billion for direct payments and EUR 2.4 billion for rural development.

The document also mentions the need to specify the rule of "money for the rule of law", but does not provide for any major changes.

European Council head Charles Michel said after the summit that agreement on the budget was not possible, and that the EU needed more time to discuss the issue. Michel added that one of the reasons for the difficulties was the large financial gap caused by Britain's recent departure from the EU.