Negotiators in Brussels have clinched a deal on the 2014 EU budget after a night of hard talks, cutting spending by about 6% compared to 2013.
Spending will total 135.5 billion euros (181.3 billion), or 0.5bn less than the Commission sought and 0.9bn short of the European Parliament’s target.
However, the budget is 0.5 billion euros bigger than what austerity-conscious government leaders were demanding.
It reflects stricter new terms agreed by EU leaders in February.
About two-thirds of the budget will go on subsidies for farmers and on development projects in the EU’s poorer regions, as in previous years. But the spending on such projects – called the “cohesion” budget – is being cut by about 7 billion euros.
Four governments voted against the compromise deal – the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, German ARD television reported. They wanted the EU to make deeper cuts.
The deal was reached after 16 hours of negotiation, and still requires final approval from the parliament and EU ministers next week.
There remains some opposition to the deal in the European Parliament, however.
The deal, once signed off, should pave the way for the European Parliament to adopt the EU’s long-term trillion-euro budget for 2014-2020.
At the same time, the negotiators in Brussels agreed to allocate an extra 3.9 billion euros to pay outstanding bills for 2013 incurred in cohesion projects.
An additional 400.5 million euros will also be spent from the EU “solidarity” fund to help areas of Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Romania which were hit by flooding this year.
[youtube cVagVEGZdj0 650]