Bulgaria to gain in EU budget, PM Borissov says

As the European Council tussled in tough negotiations on the European Union’s 2014-2020 budget, with a proposal on the table that would shave billions off the overall figure for the bloc’s budget, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that he had been given promises that his country would get bigger amounts in this next programming period, including an additional two billion euro for agriculture.

The money set aside for Bulgaria also included 260 million euro in compensation for the decommissioning of four units at the country’s Kozloduy nuclear power station.

Borissov told journalists at the European Council meeting in Brussels, which began on February 7 and continued late into the early hours before resuming on Friday, that he had been given assurances by European Council President Herman van Rompuy and German chancellor Angela Merkel that Bulgaria would get the most among all EU member states in relation to its contribution to the bloc’s budget.

Borissov said that there was “big tension” in the budget negotiations because of the reductions being negotiated, and when money was cut, every country was dissatisfied and was trying to protect its own interest. Some countries were getting billions of euro less and were facing great difficulties, Borissov said.

He said that should the European Council negotiations on the 2014-2020 budget framework fail, there would have to be negotiations every year over the period, which he said would be a disadvantage for Bulgaria as a country building up its infrastructure in long-term projects.

In Sofia, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Dyankov said that Bulgaria’s position was that if there had to be reductions in the EU’s multiannual financial framework, these should come from the “inflated” administrative costs of the European Commission in Brussels while, in turn, the funds to raise the level of development of the EU’s poorer regions should be left untouched.

The proposal that was tabled for discussion early in the morning of February 8 envisages a cut of about 34.4 billion euro over the next seven years, the first time in the 56-year history of the EU that it has cut its budget.

The European Council, February 7 2013, Group photo, from left to right, in the 1st row: Robert Fico, Slovak Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister; Minister of State and Minister of Finance of Luxembourg, Mario Monti, Italian Prime Minister; Minister for Economy and Finance, Jose Manuel Barroso, Demetris Christofias, President of Cyprus, Traian Basescu, President of Romania, Enda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister and President in office of the Council of the EU, Herman van Rompuy, Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic, Martin Schulz, President of the EP, Antonis Samaras, Greek Prime Minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, Latvian Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, and Uwe Corsepius, Secretary General of the Council of the EU, in the 2nd row: Zoran Milanovic, Croatian Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Danish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister, Elio Di Rupo, Belgian Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy Brey, Spanish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Swedish Prime Minister, Petr Necas, Czech Prime Minister, Janez Jansa, Slovenian Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, Portuguese Prime Minister, Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, Jyrki Katainen, Finnish Prime Minister, Werner Faymann, Austrian Federal Chancellor, Boiko Borissov, Bulgarian Prime Minister, Andrus Ansip, Estonian Prime Minister, David Cameron, British Prime Minister, and Lawrence Gonzi, Maltese Prime Minister. Photo: EC Audiovisual Service

(Main photo: Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, left, and European Commission President Jose Barroso: EC Audiovisual Service)




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