Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said he is "very disappointed" that the European Parliament cancelled a meeting today with the Irish Presidency on finalising the EU's €960bn budget.

The budget was passed by EU leaders at a summit in February but it cannot become operational unless the European Parliament gives its consent.

The Government, as current holder of the Presidency of the European Council, had hoped to finalise a deal with the parliament on both a revised budget for 2013 and the near €1 trillion plan for 2014 to 2020 before the end of June.

Speaking in Brussels this evening, Mr Gilmore said he regretted "very much" that the negotiation process, which was due to start today, had been cancelled by parliament.

The Tánaiste said the budget was central to jobs and growth and any significant delay in its finalisation could mean the EU would "struggle" to plan and manage the expenditure.

He said this was money regions and citizens are depending on to provide jobs and growth in an economic crisis.