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Sunday 22 April 2018

Provisional agreement reached on trillion euro EU budget

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

PROVISIONAL agreement has been reached on a near trillion euro EU-wide budget for the next seven years under negotiations involving the Irish Presidency.

Following lengthy talks, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and the European Parliament's chief negotiator Alain Lamassoure have agreed a joint text which will now have to be signed off by member states and MEPs.

Mr Gilmore said getting agreement on the so-called Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014 to 2020 was in the interests of the people of Europe.

"The budget is about putting in place a robust budget that will enable jobs to be created in Europe, enable the European economy to grow and in particular address an urgent t need to provide employment for young people," Mr Gilmore said, following the talks in Brussels.

The package contains all four issues of concern raised by the European Parliament, including greater flexibility and a budgetary review in 2016 in light of the economic forecasts at that time, Mr Gilmore said.

Officials had hoped to reach an accord with the European Parliament on the crucial piece of legislation unlocking billions of euro in funds to EU states before the end of this month, when Ireland's term as holder of the EU presidency ends.

In February, European leaders finally agreed a budget deal for the rest of the decade after a marathon 25-and-a-half hour negotiation session in Brussels, which was expected to lead to the first cut in EU spending in its 56-year history.

But the parliament, which must vote on the near trillion euro package, rejected it in March amid various concerns.

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