On 20 November, General Affairs Council will endeavour to reach a fourth partial general approach on further elements of the cohesion policy legislative package for 2014-2020.
The European Commission will present its work programme for 2013. The Council will also prepare the special European Council meeting on 22-23 November dedicated to the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 on the basis of draft conclusions. It will take note of a draft annotated agenda of the European Council meeting on 13-14 December and will discuss the follow-up to be given to the European Council's meeting held on 18-19 October 2012.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Andreas Mavroyiannis, Cypriot Minister for European Affairs and President-in-office of the Council: But of course, the main topic is still MFF. Since the discussion last evening, I think there is now more clarity. I think the President Van Rompuy will take into account what he heard from the Ministers and we believe that we have come a step closer to an agreement for the upcoming EU Council.
||SOUNDBITE (in French) Andreas Mavroyiannis saying that: Everybody could block but blocking means that there will be nothing. Everyone has a really strong willingness to achieve an agreement. Everyone has his red lines, priorities. But I think I can be optimist that Mister Van Rompuy's proposal with the necessary amendments, all the discussions and the bilateral meeting will allow a proposal on which everybody could agree If it will be on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, I don't know exactly when but I am quite optimistic.
||Eamon Gilmore T.D. Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Eamon Gilmore T.D.: I think it is fair to say that most people left last night's meeting probably a little more optimistic with the about the prospect of an agreement being secured by the weekend.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Eamon Gilmore T.D.: It is about trying to get agreement among the 27 countries. And each country has its own set of priorities. I outlined Ireland set of priorities. We want to see an European Union budget that is fit for purpose and sufficiently adequate to meet our needs. I underlined the importance of the CAP, the role of the agrifood sector and economic growth and the creation of jobs. And the necessity for us to have a European budget that is capable to delivering for us on the jobs' agenda, on the issue such as research, education, training and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Swedish delegation: In Sweden we say that we need a modern budget for the future and not the 70's. And we have great concerns with the latest proposals. And we see that we have further room for cuts in booth, the cohesion policy and in agriculture subsidies. And we definitely will fight for our rebate. But we still feel from the discussion of yesterday and the dinner with Mister Van Rompuy that we have room for a deal this weekend and we will be very efficient in this aspect.
||Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Bernard Cazeneuve, French Minister for European Affairs
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Alexander Stubb, Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs: The think that I am not hopeful on it is actually own resources. And unfortunately I am quite disappointed that we are not able to change the way that we bring money into the EU. The original Commission's proposal was good but now you have all bunch of countries wanting different types of rebates and correction mechanisms and it will only make the system messier.
||SOUNDBITE (in German) Michael Link, German Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, saying that: It is also really important to get a budget which has a modern structure, with effective spending, modern criteria and the possibility to get the taxes back when after 7 years it has not been spend correctly . It is really important for us. And the third point is that we want a fair sharing out. We are for solidarity but we want a fair sharing. It is clear that Germany is asking for correction of our participation.