EU budget summit concludes inconclusively

The European Council Summit on the EU’s budget for 2021 to 2027 appears to have concluded without agreement, with “more time” needed.

Speaking after the conclusion of the summit, European Council President Charles Michel said: “Unfortunately, today we have observed that it was not possible to reach an agreement. We have observed that we need more time.

“We have worked very hard to try to reconcile the different concerns, the different interests, the different opinions on the table. But we need more time. It means that we will see in the future how it is possible to work on this topic in order to succeed, in order to get an agreement in the council,” Michel added.

The council president did not give a commitment on when official talks might resume, but confirmed: “We will need to have some informal consultations in the next days and weeks in order to see what are the best ways of working and what is realistic.”

“Everything is on the table – the figures, the numbers – and at a technical level, we are ready. It’s a political question,” he explained.

Michel continued: “I fully understand that each country has specific concerns, they have specific opinions, specific interests.

“They each also have a national parliament, they have citizens, and it is important to take into consideration the different situations in the different countries, in order to be able to converge and to have a common position, a common opinion,” he added.

We have observed that, tonight, it was not possible, but I am confident. I think that if we continue strong dialogue, respectful dialogue, it will be possible to reach an agreement.

Also speaking after the summit, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen commented: “Sometimes things have to take their time to mature, and this is the case here too. We are not there yet, but we are in a good way.”