Conciliation Committee: extracts from the joint press conference by Melchior Wathelet, acting Belgian State Secretary for the Budget, Migration and Asylum Policy, Family Policy and Federal Cultural Institutions and President in office of the Council, and Janusz Lewandowski on Budget 2011
The last attempt to approve the European Union's budget for 2011 ended in failure early on 16 November 2010, as European Union governments and the European Parliament remained locked in a power struggle. Janusz Lewandowski, Member of the EC in charge of Financial Programming and Budget, and Melchior Wathelet, acting Belgian State Secretary for the Budget, Migration and Asylum Policy, Family Policy and Federal Cultural Institutions and President in office of the Council, gave a joint press conference after the Conciliation Committee, on Budget 2011.
µThe two sides had until midnight local time to find a deal. But talks still broke down, despite Parliamentarians' having bowed to governments' demands to limit budget increases to 2.9 per cent, rather than the 6.2 per cent they had originally asked for.
In return, deputies asked for a "legally-binding" promise to be involved in future discussions on long-term EU financing, giving them a platform to call for an EU-wide tax and the scrapping of national rebates. The requests went too far for a group of EU members. The conciliation's failure meant that the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, will be forced to submit to governments and lawmakers another budget proposal, hoping they could agree on it at the next month's EU summit, scheduled for 16-17 December 2010.