EU leaders convene for difficult talks over the bloc’s $1 trillion budget

Representatives from the 27 EU member states will gather in Brussels today for a summit to negotiate the bloc’s Multiannual

eu budget 2020

Photo: European Council

Representatives from the 27 EU member states will gather in Brussels today for a summit to negotiate the bloc’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027.

Today’s discussions are set to be contentious as the bloc seeks a way to compensate for the $86.6 billion hole expected over the next seven years from Brexit.

European Council President Charles Michel’s proposed budget has so far received harsh criticism from all members as he seeks to increase contributions for the EU’s richest members, such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, and cut regional aid for less developed countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Poland.

Unanimous agreement among the 27 members is required before the end of the year as spending is due to come into force in 2021, threatening a number of expenditure programmes next year. While Michel has indicated that he could tweak policies that fund development in Europe’s poorest regions, agreement on the size of contributions is needed before any decisions can be taken on how the budget will be spent.

Officials have said thus far that the current draft of the budget will not be accepted, and criticisms from both sides indicate that debate will continue through the end of the year.

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