José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission welcomed the agreement by national leaders and MEPs on the EU's budget for 2014-20, which he called the “growth fund for Europe”.
“This is a good deal for Europe, this is a good deal for European citizens, this is a good deal for the European economy,” said Mr Barroso, who had helped mediate the final deal that ends months of negotiations.
Mr Barroso highlighted that the spending programme included increased flexibility on payments and commitments and funding for “critical issues”, including youth employment and SMEs.
Enda Kenny, the Irish prime minister who heads the outgoing Irish presidency of the European Council, said the agreement was an important day for Europe and an example of the EU rising to a challenge. “Where there is belief, cooperation and conviction, Europe can deliver,” he said.
The deal was a “fair compromise” which, once finalised, will “unlock €960 billion in investment in growth and jobs over the next seven years,” added Mr Kenny.
Each EU country must now endorse the agreement before the European Parliament votes on it.