EU Proposes Budget Increase for 2013

Officials from the European Commission are due to outline proposals on Wednesday for a 6.8% rise in the EU’s budget for 2013.

The proposals will be a starting point for negotiations with the EU’s 27 member states.

Some EU members, including the UK, have consistently urged the Commission to scale down its spending plans.

However, Commission officials are expected to argue the budget increase is needed to meet prior EU commitments.

The BBC’s Nigel Cassidy says the Commission has to pay for a string of long-term projects, such as infrastructure and research programmes, that it is legally obliged to cover.

The Commission will risk accusations of double standards, as it has been leading calls for budget discipline throughout Europe, our correspondent adds.

The UK government is thought to be among those who would oppose any increase.

“The UK has been consistent that at a time when member states are tightening their belts, the EU must show budgetary restraint,” a British government spokesman in Brussels told Reuters news agency.

Poorer member states are meanwhile expected to lobby to keep the regional spending they say is essential for growth and creating jobs.

 

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