'Tentative' agreement on European Union budget

Wednesday 19 June 2013 22.08
Eamon Gilmore said it was a good day for the EU
Eamon Gilmore said it was a good day for the EU

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has described a tentative agreement reached with the European Parliament on the next EU budget as "very significant".

He said the positive outcome on the €960bn euro plan was "a good day for the EU".

Mr Gilmore said the package addressed "all four issues" of concern raised by MEPs.

On the question of flexibility, in which MEPs had been pressing for greater power to move money between years, the Tánaiste said a number of ways had been agreed to ensure the budget operates on a more flexible basis.

Mr Gilmore said he was satisfied with the outcome, describing the deal as a "balanced set of proposals".

The plan must still be passed by the European Parliament in July.

One Socialist MEP has already signalled his disappointment with the compromise.

The Parliament has given only a qualified response to tonight's agreement.

Lead negotiator Alain Lamassoure said he has reached a "coherent package" in talks with Mr Gilmore which "covers all that the European Parliament considered [a] priority".

However he said the "EP delegation is not able to commit".

Mr Lamassoure said in a tweet that the Parliament's leaders would meet with Parliament President Martin Schultz on Tuesday to decide on their position.