European Council President Charles Michel is now set to face an uphill battle in the negotiation process. The Finnish negotiations attempted last year also faced a similar challenge, but the European bloc seems increasingly frustrated in recent times. Mr Michel is looking to negotiate a bargain on the European Union budget for 2021 to 2027.
The bloc’s leaders are set to gather in Brussels on Thursday to thrash out the details of the budget, which has seen the countries at loggerheads.
Mr Michel, the former Belgian prime minister, has produced a 53 page document which seeks to outline a proposal of compromise.
However, this has seemingly been roundly rejected by European diplomats, who are drawing hard lines in the sand.
The document, released on February 14, was described by one senior diplomat as a “Valentine’s Day without presents”.
Another diplomat said: “The new proposal won’t make things any easier for the heads of state and government.
“It will be even harder to reach an agreement now.”
The plan outlined by Mr Michel contains a series of gestures which appear to be aimed at Eastern European countries.
Many of these countries face harsh cuts to their regional development funding, and it appears Mr Michel wishes to appease them.
It is hoped some of his proposals will be able to reconcile these governments to EU Green Deal targets – something which has also been a tough negotiating process.
However, the moves by Mr Michel have been snubbed by some in the west.
A third diplomat added: “It is bad news that Charles Michel has watered down the current proposal on the rule of law.
“This is a step in the wrong direction.”
EU CHAOS: European Union in major row as Macron infuriates bloc [REVEALED]
EU fury: Propaganda row as bloc accused of splurging taxpayer cash [SHOCK]
EU chiefs slammed in scathing attack as Philippe Lamberts lashes out [INSIGHT]
The proposal submitted by Mr Michel has drawn striking similarities to the budget proposed by the Finnish, who held the presidency of the Council of the European Union in December.
The Finns proposed a budget of €1.087 trillion at the time, whereas €1.095 trillion is now being suggested.
This figure is equivalent to 1.074 percent of the Gross National Income of the European Union.
But it seems the main contender Mr Michel will have to face is to come in the form of Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Mr Macron holds agricultural spending dear, and Mr Michel’s proposal appears to seek to upset the status quo.
The current proposal would see 30 percent of the total spent on the Commons Agricultural Policy – a significant increase from the Commission’s original proposal.
But this is a sharp cut of €53.2 billion from what the EU spent on agriculture in the current budget.
Mr Michel and his European counterparts will now discuss the details of the agreement in a meeting today.
It is hoped the meeting will draw the matter to a close in a neat and agreeable manner.
Source: Read Full Article