THE European Commission has put forward a budget of €138bn for 2013 – a 6.8pc increase – and has promised a move towards growth in a bid to turn the regions prospects around.
Once finalised, the budget will have to be approved by member governments.
While budgets are usually supported by the European Parliament, bigger countries could oppose the plans because they are the biggest contributors to it.
The proposed increase comes as member states are spending much less against the backdrop of the eurozone debt crisis.
Negotiations between EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg yesterday revealed divisions between the biggest contributors.
The Netherlands, Britain and Germany are all seeking cuts of at least €100bn from what’s being proposed with regional funding the most likely targets.
However, this is expected to be opposed by member states in poorer states and those in central and eastern Europe who are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries from regional funds.
"Europe needs to invest wisely for its own future starting today," said EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski in a statement today.