The Guest Blog

Last time the EU agreed on its seven-year budget was in December 2005, at a summit hosted at the time by the UK Presidency, under Tony Blair.

Reading back into our archives, it is surprising how relevant the debates have remained today.

Based on the 2005 experience, we could also risk making one prediction: The figure that will eventually come out of the negotiations will probably have to be topped up afterwards to win the European Parliament’s seal of approval.

Here’s a selection of news articles that could throw a light on the summit discussions tonight and tomorrow.

  • UK confirms plan to cut EU budget (29 Nov. 2005)
    The UK Presidency has confirmed that it wants to cut the long term EU budget to 1.03% of GNP. The Commission cautions on the need for solidarity in the EU.
  • New member states pressure UK into budget move (02 Dec. 2005)
    The cold reception in new member states to the UK’s idea of cutting structural funds at their expense has led the UK to put its rebate into play at the EU budget talks.
  • France and Poland unite against UK at summit (15 Dec. 2005)
    The UK has added €2.5 billion in its revised proposal for the EU’s long-term budget, which is to be handed out in small amounts to the new member states. But France and Poland have voiced loud opposition.
  • Merkel in key position at EU budget summit (16 Dec. 2005)
    Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is the ‘woman in the middle’. She backs Blair in principle but does not want to jeopardise ties with France and must avoid Germany ending up footing the EU bill once again.
  • EU pulls itself back from the abyss (19 Dec. 2005)
    A breakthrough on the EU’s budget came early Saturday morning 17 December after more than 30 hours of tough negotiations when the UK agreed to a German compromise proposal to cut the UK rebate by €10.5 billion.
  • Summit deal gets lukewarm reception from EP (19 Dec. 2005)
    Having threatened to block the EU budget deal, the Parliament now warns that tough negotiations lie ahead.
  • Deal reached on EU budget 2007-2013 (05 April 2006)
    The Parliament and the Austrian Presidency have reached a compromise on the long-term budget for the period 2007-2013. The agreement is at €864.4 billion, €2 billion more than the Summit deal of December 2005.

Article by: Frédéric Simon, Editor & Deputy Publisher,

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