REPRESENTATIVES of all 16 countries participating in the EU Friends of Cohesion summit, which took place in Bratislava on October 5, signed a joint declaration, in which they agreed with the proposed European Commission budget for 2014-20. Yet, they also declared that there is no scope for further cuts in the means allocated for cohesion purposes, the TASR newswire reported.
The delegates from 15 EU countries and Croatia, scheduled to join the union next year, sought to voice their disapproval with the European Commission’s suggestion to allocate €339 billion of the overall €1 trillion budget for cohesion investments. The amount is 4.5 percent lower than the sum allocated in the previous budgetary term.
EU leaders should come to an agreement on the EU budget for 2014-20 as soon as possible in order to show that the EU is able to make difficult decisions, said EC President José Manuel Barroso during the summit. He added that a special EU summit is to take place in Brussels in November that will enable member states to finalise their budget-related negotiations. In this regard, Barroso expressed his belief that members will be able to agree on an “ambitious and realistic budget for Europe”, TASR wrote.