European Parliament to vote on EU budget shortfall

Wednesday 23 October 2013 12.38
The European Parliament is to debate and vote on covering a €2.7bn shortfall in the EU budget
The European Parliament is to debate and vote on covering a €2.7bn shortfall in the EU budget

The European Parliament is to debate and vote on covering a €2.7bn shortfall in the EU budget for 2013, with indications suggesting it will be passed.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has appealed to MEPs to pass the amending budget and ensure there was no "rupture" in payments.

Many MEPs have been reluctant to support the measure because of a related row regarding the provision of €3.9bn to cover the outstanding bills for this year.

However, the possibility of a freeze in EU payments by mid-November would appear to have weighed heavily on MEPs and they voted by 119 to 45 this morning to decouple the issues and tackle the €2.7bn matter tomorrow.

The €2.7bn shortfall was caused by a drop in the EU's own resources (customs duties) and the member states have already agreed to cover this.

However, there has been no commitment from the council to cover the €3.9bn to cover the outstanding bills for this year.

This dispute has held up the passing of the EU's seven-year budget, known as the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), worth nearly €1 trillion.