BRUSSELS (AFP) – Cost-conscious EU governments and a more generous-minded European Parliament failed to reach an eleventh hour agreement for the bloc’s 2015 budget late Monday, forcing officials to draw up a new proposal.
“No deal on EU budget, EU Commission to present new draft budget 2015,” a spokeswoman for the European Parliament’s budget committee said in a tweet.
EU member states and the European Parliament have been locked in marathon talks to agree a budget of about 140 billion euros ($173 billion) for 2015.
They are also in need to agree outstanding payments for 2014 – and even years before that – with opinions far apart on what needs to be paid urgently.
“We must have a concrete response to the unbearable problem of unpaid invoices accumulating on the desks of the Commission,” said liberal European MP and negotiator Jean Arthuis.
Haggling over unpaid bills “puts into danger the credibility of the EU authority and feeds the arguments of europhobes,” he added.