Eamon Gilmore briefs ministers on EU budget deal

Tuesday 25 June 2013 22.51
Eamon Gilmore briefs ministers over an EU budget deal
Eamon Gilmore briefs ministers over an EU budget deal

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has briefed the 27 EU foreign and Europe ministers in Luxembourg over prospects for a definitive deal on the EU's seven-year budget before the Irish presidency ends this week.

Last week there was controversy over whether or not he had successfully negotiated a deal with the European Parliament on accepting the €960bn budget, to run from 2014 to 2020.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament must give its consent to the EU's budget every seven years.

Mr Gilmore has insisted that agreement was reached with the parliament's chief negotiator Alain Lamassoure, and he in turn has publicly backed him on that point.

However, it is understood that some of the parliament's political groups remain unhappy.

MEPs rejected the budget in March, but the Irish presidency hopes that enough MEPs can be convinced to support the budget before a formal vote by the parliament in Strasbourg next week.

The parliament's political groups will give their verdict tomorrow.

If the response remains lukewarm it is likely that Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as well as the presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the president of the European Parliament will meet on Thursday, alongside Mr Gilmore and Mr Lamassoure.

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