Photo of Greg Clark

Greg Clark (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury; Tunbridge Wells, Conservative)

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council—(Budget), was held in Brussels on 9 November 2012.

In the Council, the UK and a number of other member states were very clear that the Commission and the European Parliament should not be asking taxpayers for extra funds when spending in member states is being reduced.

The discussion covered Draft Amending Budget No. 6 for 2012 and Draft Amending Budget No. 5 for 2012, which would amend the 2012 EU budget to cover additional funding needs for structural and cohesion funds, rural development, research programmes and an application to the EU solidarity fund. The UK made clear that the Commission’s request for an extra €9.7 billion of spending to cover bills for 2012 should be met by redeployments of existing funds.

The Conciliation Committee with the European Parliament was suspended on Friday 9 November, after nine hours of discussions between the Council, Parliament and the Commission. It is anticipated that the Conciliation Committee will reconvene on 13 November at 19:00.

The UK will continue to work with like-minded countries to press for budget discipline and fairness for taxpayers in the UK and Europe.

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