"After the three-way talks of 7 November, and on the eve of conciliation talks between the 28 budget ministers and the European Parliament delegation, a first step has been taken towards solving the Union's immediate budgetary problems", said Budgets Committee chair Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR), immediately after Thursday's "trilogue" meeting.

Shortfall prevented


"The payment appropriations needed to finish 2013 by honouring all the legal commitments owed this year are now ensured. In all, it will have been necessary to increase by €11.2 billion, i.e. over 8%, the initial budget as capped by the budget ministers. The European Parliament's unwavering determination has saved Europe from a payments shortfall."


Immoral choices must be avoided


“What is at stake in the 2014 budget negotiations is to ensure that the Union does not find itself in an equally critical situation next spring. The figures accepted at this stage by governments would force a choice between delivering on the political undertakings given at the European Council on youth employment and investing for the future; compensating victims of catastrophic flooding in Germany and other countries; and emergency aid to victims of the Syrian civil war and the Lampedusa refugees. Making such a choice would be immoral. Parliament has therefore tabled detailed proposals to finance all these priorities with a European budget reduced by 6% to take account of the rigour required of us all. It is now up to each to act in line with his responsibilities."


What's next?


The closing conciliation meeting - in which Parliament and Council will have to strike a deal on next year's budget - is planned for Monday 11 November.