E.U. budget summit flops

The European Union budget summit broke-up without a resolution on Friday. A dispute erupted between the nine “contributor nations” like Germany and Great Britain which pay more into the EU than they get out of it and the “beneficiary nations” which get more than they put in. The contributor nations rejected the proposed 971-billion-Euro spending plan saying it needs to be cut.

France, a contributor nation, also objected to a proposed 14.5-billion-Euro cut in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). 40 percent of the budget is for agriculture. The original European Commission plan called for a 25-billion Euro cut to the CAP, the European Council president Herman Van Rompuy reduced the cut in hopes of appeasing France…it didn’t. French President Francois Hollande said it is in Europe’s best interest to feed its people and be able to export agricultural produce. Meanwhile the Netherlands, another contributor nation objected to the smaller cut.

The European CAP is a combination of farm and rural development policy; Van Rompuy’s proposal would cut direct payments to farmers by 5.8 percent and cut rural development funding by 9.3 percent.

Plans are to meet again in the new year in an effort to hammer-out a plan.

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