BRUSSELS DIVIDED: EU states split over €1 trillion budget proposal – ‘A huge mistake!’

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Under the plan, there would be deep cuts to EU cohesion funds, which are designed help create financial parity between the bloc’s poorest and richest countries. As the EU’s rotating presidency’s current incumbents, Finland put forward a new negotiating document in the hope of creating some momentum in the discussions over the next seven-year multi annual financial framework. But Helsinki’s intervention instead prompted anger from senior EU leaders opposed to the plans.

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Finland proposed a budget of 1.07 percent of gross national income in the EU, which equates to around €1 trillion, between 2021-2027.

The figure is designed to bridge the gap between the vastly differences in plans put forward by the European Commission and Parliament.

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The Brussels-based EU executive asked for 1.11 percent of GNI, whereas parliamentarians asked for increased spends of 1.3 percent of GNI.

Helsinki has proposed slashing cohesion spending by 12 percent compared to the current MFF, which is due to expire at the end of 2020 – the Commission only put forward a 10 percent cut.

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The EU’s vast spending on agriculture would also be reduced by 13 percent, less than the 15 percent suggested by the Commission.

Tytti Tuppurainen, Finland’s European affairs minister, said: “We had to cut cohesion – our number is smaller than the Commission proposal in absolute figures.

“As a proposition of the budget the share for cohesion is bigger in ours. It is fair that those regions that are least developed get their share as the Commission proposed.

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“Adjustments have been made in other areas in cohesion policy.”

She added: “Our proposal is the result of careful consultation.

“We have to address climate change, migration and so on. We will not be able to deliver without a budget that can address all these new challenges.”

Finland has asked EU countries to increase spending on new areas, such as research and border controls, by 37 percent.

This would mean the bloc is spending more on its new priorities, 32.8 percent of the budget, compares to 30.7 percent for agriculture and 29.7 percent on cohesion.

The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Austria have all called for the budget to be limited to one percent of GNI.

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The so-called “Frugal Five” insist the budget must shrink given the loss of funds from Britain’s departure.

Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa accused Finland of putting forward a confrontational proposal.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “The proposal of the Finnish presidency for the 2021-27 MFF is a huge mistake.

Instead of seeking to bring together the proposals from the Commission and the European Parliament. Instead of getting closer to the position of the majority of member states.

“It is a proposal of confrontation with the majority in the Council and institutional conflict with Parliament.

“In short, all the EU did not need. It must therefore being clearly rejected.”

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BRUSSELS DIVIDED: EU states split over €1 trillion budget proposal – ‘A huge mistake!’

Under the plan, there would be deep cuts to EU cohesion funds, which are designed help create financial parity between the bloc’s poorest and richest countries. As the EU’s rotating presidency’s current incumbents, Finland put forward a new negotiating document in the hope of creating some momentum in the discussions over the next seven-year multi annual financial framework.

Under the plan, there would be deep cuts to EU cohesion funds, which are designed help create financial parity between the bloc’s poorest and richest countries. As the EU’s rotating presidency’s current incumbents, Finland put forward a new negotiating document in the hope of creating some momentum in the discussions over the next seven-year multi annual financial framework.

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