Future budget: Special European Council – working towards consensus
"I believe that in the coming weeks progress can be achieved and of course we will work to build the bridges needed to get an agreement in time" said President Barroso after the members of the European Council concluded that more time is needed to broker a deal on the future budget.
"I think now Heads of State or Government and all the Members of the European Council now understand each other's positions better. From that point of view it was a real constructive debate" said President Barroso.
The President emphasised that not only quantity, but also quality of the finished product is important and explained the five benchmarks and one overriding goal for the Commission – to modernise the budget so that it has an increased impact on creating growth and jobs.
For President Barroso the five quality benchmarks of the future budget are:
- a critical mass of pro-growth investment in infrastructure across Europe to make the single market work;
- guarantee that cohesion policy is in line with our economic and growth strategy and that it benefits our citizens and businesses across Europe;
- ensure that the budget continues to be a lever for continued reform of our common agriculture;
- show solidarity with those most affected by the crisis in Europe and maintain our commitments to the poorest in the world;
- and make financing of the European budget to be fairer, more transparent and simpler.
President Barroso reiterated the relatively small size of the European budget, representing about 2% of public expenditure in Europe and 1% of EU GNI. He recalled that the Commission is fighting for that limited amount of money to be used in a modernised budget that puts growth and jobs creation at its heart, while at the same time he called on all to compromise.