The Tánaiste has said he remains hopeful of securing agreement on the EU’s multiannual financial framework – its Budget for the next seven years - despite severe criticism from the President of the European Parliament.

After talks in Dublin, Martin Schulz said it was most likely an "overwhelming majority" of MEPs would reject the budget agreement reached between the 27 member states.

The agreement between the governments at a meeting of the European Council was hailed as a major achievement by the Irish Presidency, but it has to be approved by the European Parliament.

Mr Schulz said the an addition of 27 national interests did not amount to a European project, and it contained no change on agriculture, no change on cohesion policy and nothing for the modernisation of the budget.

He said the Government must win the confidence of the European Parliament before the budget can be agreed.

Mr Gilmore said there will be a process of "deep negotiation" between the Parliament and the Irish Presidency, but while it was difficult and complicated, he was hopeful that agreement could be reached.