President Barroso's letter to Heads of State and Government
On 24 July, the Council approved its position to the EU Draft budget 2013 intending to limit the increase in payments in the EU budget 2013 to 2.79%. The Commission, in its initial proposal of 25 April 2012, proposed an increase in payments by 6.8% to take into account the legal obligations to pay beneficiaries as a result of past commitments already agreed by Member States. The Council's position would result in EUR 5.2 billion less than the Commission has asked for in order to take into account real payment needs. This would mean that these payment obligations would have to be carried over into the new financing period 2014-2020.
President Barroso has sent a letter to all EU Heads of State and Government to express his concern about the Council's position on the draft 2013 budget as adopted on 24 July 2012.
In the letter President Barroso says: "Just three weeks ago (28 /29 June 2012), we agreed at the European Council that we will continue to do everything necessary to put Europe back on the path of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. All Heads of State or Government signed up to a Compact for Growth and Jobs which includes very specific commitments in relation to the financing of the economy, including through the mobilisation of the remaining structural fund allocations for the current period. " President Barroso also expresses his hope that "all agree that this is not the time to sacrifice pro-growth investment and that the investments co-financed by the EU budget offer real added value" and calls on the Council to "work constructively with the European Parliament and the Commission to agree on the budget that Europe needs."