Friday 23 March 2018

Delivering budget is icing on the cake of our EU presidency

LET us at least temporarily suspend begrudgery and park any vestiges of national inferiority complex. Let us simply salute the Taoiseach and Tanaiste, all of the Government, and all of the hard-working officials who helped deliver a seven-year EU budget deal yesterday against some considerable odds under Ireland's EU presidency.

Just a few short weeks ago, Brussels officials considered such a deal seemed impossible. As recently as last week the Tanaiste was accused of "over-selling" a draft deal when the bulk of the 766 European Parliament members, who now have real decision-making powers, kicked against it.

A deal on the broad outline of the 2014-2020 €690bn EU Budget was an extremely important signal to the ordinary people in the 27-nation trade bloc. Further delay would have held back the necessary implementing legislation and delayed spending authorisation on a host of necessary EU projects.

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