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Van Rompuy trims spending plans for 2014-20 by €75bn

By Toby Vogel  -  15.11.2012 / 05:55 CET
Reductions go €25bn further than Cypriot draft.
The way ahead

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HERMAN VAN ROMPUY President of the European Council. REUTERS
Fact file

The numbers game

In his draft for the multi-annual financial framework for 2014-20 published yesterday (14 November), Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, proposed cuts of €75 billion to the European Commission's proposal of €1,033bn in spending. Cyprus, which had produced previous drafts, had proposed reductions of €50bn.

Van Rompuy proposed €15bn less for cohesion policy, bringing it to €309bn, and €14.5bn less for agricultural policy, down to €364.47bn. This includes a reduction of €7.15bn in rural development (bringing it to €83.67bn). At the same time, the latest proposal raises the cap on cohesion funding from 2.36% of a country's gross national product to 2.4%.

Van Rompuy's version also restores certain funding lines that had been cut by Cyprus, holder of the rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers, in its draft MFF. The Connecting Europe facility, which provides investments for infrastructure projects, has been raised to €46.25bn, €10bn more than in the Cyprus proposal. This includes €10bn in financing from the EU's cohesion fund, a contribution which Cyprus had proposed to cut to €7bn.

Sweden's rebate would drop by €25 million to €325m, while the German rebate would rise by €300m to €2.8bn and the Dutch rebate by €100m to €1.15bn. The UK's rebate would remain untouched, although its financing would be more evenly spread among all member states.

The latest draft MFF also contains a list of specific savings in administrative spending, including a 40-hour working week for EU staff, the continuation of a solidarity levy on staff salaries, a later retirement age, of 65, and restrictions on early retirement.

The European Development Fund, which is technically outside the EU budget but whose size is set as part of the MFF negotiations, faces a €3bn cut from the €30bn proposed by the Commission (Cyprus's draft contained no overall figure for the EDF).

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