The Cyprus EU Presidency`s revised negotiating box on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 will form the basis of the final negotiations that would lead to the achievement of an agreement between all EU stakeholders.
During Monday’s EU General Affairs Council, chaired by Cypriot Deputy Minister for European Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis, all EU member states expressed their commitment to work for the timely conclusion of the negotiations on the MFF.
The Ministers discussed for the first time during Monday’s GAC about the Cyprus EU Presidency’s revised negotiating box on the MFF which is based on the bilateral contacts held between the Presidency and the member states (including Croatia which will join the EU in July 2013) as well as the conclusions of the Informal General Affairs Council that took place end of August in Cyprus.
Mavroyiannis told journalists at a press conference that a long and fruitful discussion took place noting that the Cyprus EU Presidency, is taking into consideration the views expressed by the EU Ministers at the GAC, and will continue seeking for a compromise among the member states.
He said that not all elements of the Cyprus EU Presidency’s negotiating box were welcomed by the member states, but said that all have accepted the negotiating box to form the basis of further work and committed themselves to reach an agreement during the extraordinary European Council convened by Herman van Rompuy on the 22nd and 23rd of November with the MFF being the only item on the agenda.
Mavroyiannis said that the Presidency’s negotiating box is a realistic one and would help reach an agreement among the member states.
He noted that the Presidency’s next revised negotiating box will include concrete figures, and will not be presented before the October European Council.
Furthermore, he said that reductions on all headings and all elements to the Commission’s proposal on the MFF are needed in order to reach an agreement on the MFF.
In his statements, Vice-President of the Commission, Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration Maros Sefcovic said that the Commission welcomed the Cyprus EU Presidency’s negotiating box and stressed the need to achieve good progress before the November European Council. But he expressed the Commission’s rejection as to the reduction of all allocations on individual headings.
Sefcovic expressed the Commission’s understanding for the Presidency’s difficult task to reach a consensus among the member states.
The October European Council will discuss about the MFF during breakfast or lunch. The main discussion will take place at the November European Council convened by President Herman Van Rompuy on the 22nd and 23rd of November with an aim to reach a political agreement.
The achievement of an agreement by the end of the year is the top priority of the Cyprus EU Presidency.
During Monday’s GAC meeting, the European Commission presented its new proposal for a new value added tax (VAT), based on own resource.
The draft annotated agenda of the European Council meeting of October 18 and 19 was also discussed by the EU Affairs Ministers. Issues currently on the agenda of the European Council include economic policy and specifically the Compact for Growth and Jobs, an interim report on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union and the issue of banking supervision and union.
Other topics discussed during the GAC included foreign policy issues, the second ‘European Semester’, with an outlook at possible improvements for 2013.
The Commission also presented its proposal on the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations, as well as its report on the implementation of the national Roma strategies.
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