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(21 October 2019) - EU leaders failed to narrow their differences over the EU’s seven-year budget for 2021-27, the Multiannual Financial Framework, as member states maintained their entrenched positions on the EU’s spending volume and priorities.

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The 18 October’s European Council discussed the size of the long-term budget, the volumes of the main policy areas, the revenue sources, the rebates that some member states obtain, and the possibility to add new conditions and incentives for the disbursement of EU funds.

Leaders, however, did not take any decision on these points. They asked the rotating presidency of the EU, currently held by Finland, to further narrow the differences into a proposal (negotiating box), including figures.

The capitals are not only clashing over the expenditure and the allocation of the money, but also over the introduction of a new conditionality to link EU funds with respect for the rule of law principles.

The talks also became more complex for the next cycle as the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is expected to leave a financial hole of around €13 billion in the EU coffers.

While some Northern countries are defending big cuts on the CAP and Cohesion, to make space for new priorities, Eastern and Southern countries oppose significant changes. (EurActiv)

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