2018 EU budget: Council cannot accept EP amendments
The Council has told the European Parliament that it cannot accept all of its amendments for the EU's general budget for 2018, voted on 25 October 2017.
This triggers a three-week conciliation process, starting on 31 October. Council and Parliament will have until 20 November to bridge their differences.
Märt Kivine, deputy finance minister of Estonia, which currently holds the Council presidency, and chief negotiator for the 2018 budget said: "The presidency is looking for structured and constructive discussions while edging towards a reasonable and sustainable budget decision for 2018".
The two institutions share the same priorities for 2018, namely to boost growth and job creation, strengthen security and address migration. In the Council's view, the main task will be to find an agreement on an adequate level of funding for these priorities.
In its draft budget for 2018, the Commission proposed setting the total level of commitments at €160.6 billion and payments at €145.4 billion.
The Council's position, adopted on 4 September, sets total commitments at €158.9 billion and total payments at €144.4 billion.
The Parliament is asking for total commitments to be increased to €162.6 billion and total payments to €146.7 billion. This is €1.8 billion in commitments above the ceilings set by the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020.
The conciliation committee will meet on 6 and 17 November. On the latter date, the Council will meet to provide guidance to the presidency for its talks with the Parliament. If no deal is reached by the end of the conciliation period on 20 November, the Commission will have to present a new draft budget.
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