European Parliament demands more powers over EU budget

The European Parliament insists on being granted more decision-making powers and a role in structuring the EU budget before approving the bloc’s financial package for 2007-2013, senior EU politicians said in Brussels today.

Last December, EU leaders approved a seven-year budget of €862.4bn, corresponding to roughly 1.04% of the 25-member bloc’s gross national income.

The European Council of government leaders also agreed to review the budget in three or four years, which could lead to cuts in the EU’s massive agricultural subsidies.

The EU assembly, which has veto power over the budget, had demanded a package worth 100 billion euros more – or 1.18% of gross national income - arguing that Europe needs more money to adapt to the challenges it is facing.

But the politicians seemed to be backing down from those demands and focusing instead on the structure of the budget and their own role in structuring the package after realising their chances of securing a budget increase are slim at best as member states indicated the budget cap agreed during arduous negotiations will not change.

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