Unlike other EU member states, Slovakia is satisfied with the agreement on the new EU budget for 2014-20, which will be discussed by EU leaders at a special summit in Brussels on Thursday, November 22, said Prime Minister Robert Fico on Tuesday, adding that the outcome of the session can hardly be predicted now.
"If I come back on Friday at noon, we probably haven't come to an agreement,” said Fico at a session of the Parliamentary European Affairs Committee, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “If I return on Saturday, we've probably agreed on something.” Long-term disputes have revolved around how deep the cuts promoted by the net contributors to the EU budget will be. The 'Friends of Cohesion' group, which includes Slovakia, opposes the cuts, and wants the proposed allocations on cohesion policies to remain in place.
Fico emphasised that Slovakia belongs among the countries that should be given more funding from the new EU budget than they currently receive. The question is: how much will Slovakia get, he said. According to the original proposal by the European Commission, Slovakia should receive more than €14 billion within the given period, compared to the €11.5 billion it received in 2007-13. The overall EU budget should exceed €1 trillion. Net contributors suggest cuts reaching €150 billion, however, which Fico described as "brutal". In general, Fico said he is expecting a difficult, long summit full of blackmailing, in which Slovakia does not want to participate. "We want to behave in a way that will facilitate an agreement. I admit that Slovakia will fight hard within the group and take decisive stances, but certainly not on its own," he added.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.