This is an important step forward for Europe's businesses, regions, scientists, NGOs and all beneficiaries of EU funds. I am obviously disappointed that the European Council settled for such reduced amounts for future EU budgets at the same time as those same Member States keep entrusting the EU with more and more competencies, but a deal between Member States is better than no deal at all for all those across Europe who rely on EU funds.
The cuts are painful, will be painful for those beneficiaries, yes, however, this summit was only the first chapter of the story. The Council, the European Parliament and the Commission must now write together its second and final chapter, the one that will enable the Council to draft a regulation for the next financial period and the Parliament to agree to it.
Then and only then will millions of beneficiaries breathe a sigh of relief: then and only then will they have a certainty that in future there will be EU funds to help Europe's businesses invest towards a stronger economy, Europe's scientists search for new treatments against diseases or Europe's NGOs keep helping those most in need.
In the end, the EU budget is for them. For today and for tomorrow.