A two-day EU summit aimed at agreeing the bloc’s long-term financing plan has ended without agreement.
Differences amongst EU nations for the new EU budget proved to be too much of a hurdle, so much that the EU Council has ended without a deal.
The summit in Brussels started Thursday afternoon and consisted primarily of bilateral meetings lasting through the night and during the day on Friday. A compromise proposal was circulated on Friday afternoon but leaders were unable to come to an agreement on the 2021-2027 financial plan.
“Unfortunately today we have observed that it is not possible to reach an agreement,” European Council President Charles Michel told reporters. “We have observed that we need more time.”
As a result, a new summit will have to occur in the coming weeks.
During the last round of budget negotiations in 2012-2013, it took the European Council two summits to reach an agreement on the EU’s long-term spending.
POLITICO reports German Chancellor Angela Merkel telling reporters that “It became evident that the differences were too big to reach an agreement, that’s why we canceled the negotiations.” She added that it was not clear when the next budget summit would be convened. “The Council president will decide [a new date] after consultations with the individual EU countries.”
Earlier, the FT reported that a group of EU leaders have proposed a compromise aimed at breaking the stalemate in vexed budget talks in Brussels. Leaders including Angela Merkel of Germany, Emmanuel Macron of France and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte met Charles Michel, the European Council president, to discuss an extra €20bn of savings, after an inconclusive night of negotiations over paying for the bloc’s priorities for the next seven years.