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Van Rompuy adjusts budget proposal to appease France, Italy and Poland; Key EU leaders do not expect a deal to be reached at this summit

23 Nov 2012

European Council President Herman van Rompuy presented an updated draft of his proposal for the long term EU budget last night keeping overall spending but cutting spending on growth and foreign aid to increase spending on agriculture and cohesion, in a concession to the likes of France, Italy and Poland. The proposal still contains changes to the UK rebate which could cost the UK €3.5bn - €7bn over seven years. A deal still looks unlikely with the German, French, Dutch and Austrian leaders all suggesting that they do not expect to reach a deal at this summit.

Arriving at the summit this morning UK Prime Minister David Cameron said “I don't think there's been enough progress so far…It isn't the time for tinkering. It isn't the time for moving money from one part of the budget to another. We need unaffordable spending cut.” In particular Cameron is expected to push for a cut in the EU’s administration spending, focusing on the wages and pensions of EU civil servants, although it remains intact so far.

Open Europe’s Director Mats Persson appeared on BBC Newsnight and on Sky News' Jeff Randall Show discussing the EU budget negotiations. Newsnight also cited several specific examples of wasteful EU spending identified by Open Europe. Open Europe’s figures on the difference between various proposals for the long term EU budget were cited by the Times, the Guardian Politics blog and Channel 4 News. Open Europe is quoted by Der Spiegel Online, criticising the EU’s excessive spending on administration. Open Europe’s blog looking at the number of countries which have threatened to veto the budget was featured on the Telegraph and Guardian live blogs. Open Europe’s Pawel Swidlicki appeared on TVN/CNBC and Polsat News discussing the EU budget and its impact on UK and Polish relations.
FT CityAM WSJ Times FT 2 FT 3 FT 4 La Stampa EUobserver Economist blogs: Charlemagne El País El País 2 El Mundo El País: Hahn El Economista La Tribune EUobserver 2 Telegraph Mail Economist Express BBC European Voice Spiegel Telegraph: Live blog Guardian: Live blog Guardian: Politics blog Sun Independent Guardian Economist: Charlemagne Euractiv Bild Guardian FAZ FAZ 2  Süddeutsche FTD Welt Bild Zeit FAZ 3 Spiegel Welt 2 DWN  FTD FAZ 4 Zeit Wyborcza Spiegel BBC Newsnight Open Europe blog

Open Europe Berlin: Reform of the EU regional policy could save Germany €3.5bn net
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cites Open Europe Berlin new study showing how a reform of the EU regional policy could save Germany up to €3.5bn net and around €30bn gross over seven years. Nora Hesse, deputy head of Open Europe Berlin, is quoted as saying “administrative costs resulting from the unnecessary money flow via Brussels could be cut down.”
Open Europe Berlin: in the news Open Europe Berlin Research: Umbau der EU-Regionalpolitik FAZ

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports on UK public opinion towards the EU citing Open Europe calculations that EU regulations imposed a total of €124bn on the British economy since 1998.
Open Europe Research: out of control Open Europe Research: still out of control FAZ

Writing on Conservative Home on the subject of prisoners’ voting rights, former Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice Nick Herbert argues that “We shouldn’t defy the European Court of Human Rights: we should resile from it altogether."
Mail Conservative Home: Herbert Guardian Guardian: Jenkins

Members and supporters of Silvio Berlusconi’s PdL party will vote to choose the party’s candidate for Italian Prime Minister on 16 December, Il Sole 24 Ore reports.
Il Sole 24 Ore

Kathimerini notes that the Greek government has moved closer to a deal with its official lenders, which would reportedly involve Greece embarking on a bond-buyback scheme. The reports have pushed Greek bond yields down.
Kathimerini WSJ Kathimerini 2 Kathimerini 3 Kathimerini 4 WSJ: Hanson WSJ Review & Outlook

France’s former Foreign Minister Alain Juppé has been asked to mediate between the two candidates to succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as the leader of centre-right UMP party – Jean-François Copé and François Fillon. The internal election saw a victory for Copé, but Fillon has claimed irregularities in the counting of votes.
Le Monde

Cypriot news agency CNA reports that Cyprus has reached an agreement on its bailout with the EU/IMF/ECB Troika. Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said yesterday that the island may need a loan of up to €17.5bn – almost the size of its GDP.
FAZ FTD EUobserver RTE El País Le Monde

EU leaders appointed Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch to the ECB’s Executive Board yesterday. El País reports that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was the only one who voted against the appointment, and could not stop Spain losing its representative on the Board for the first time since the euro was introduced.
EUobserver EUobserver 2 El País Süddeutsche FTD

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