Poland well prepared for EU budget talks – PM Tusk
November 23, 2012
Poliish PM Donald Tusk
Poland has never before been so well prepared for Brussels-based talks and hopes to reach a compromise on the 2014-2020 EU budget framework during the two-day European Council summit which started in Brussels on Thursday, PM Donald Tusk told a news conference.
The budget summit in Brussels is taking place against a backdrop of growing tensions between EU member states over the Brussels-based bloc's budget plans, which cover the 2014-2020 period. The 2014-20 budget - technically known as the multi-annual financial framework or MFF - will set maximum spending limits, as well as define where the money should go and where it should come from.
Yesterday Polish PM had a meeting with the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, ahead of the summit.
Van Rompuy proposed a cap on cohesion funds to be set to 2.35% of GDP, Tusk told a news briefing. Poland rejected the proposal, as it wants a 2.40% cap, Tusk said.
PAP Polish news agency reported that Van Rompuy has proposed a cut in cohesion funds for Poland in the 2014-2020 budget pool by some EUR 1.5 billion to EUR 72.4 billion.
Poland may count on the cooperation of 15 countries-'Friends of Cohesion' as well as on the support of Italy and France, the PM said, identifying Great Britain as the chief opponent in the negotiations.
Meanwhile, leader the main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski said that the Polish government’s seeing UK as the main obstacle to maintaining present funds is a mistake in negotiations.
Kaczynski said Tusk “ should not make an enemy of an ally” and said the British Conservative Party – which is part of the same voting bloc, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ERC) in the European Parliament as Law and Justice – were not trying to cut Polish funds.
“Britain wants cuts”, but not at the expense of poorer countries like Poland, Kaczyński said. Germany also wants cuts, he added.
PiS MEP Tomasz Poreba has quoted the Head of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, Martin Callan, who said that "cohesion policy for the new Member States will be preserved, even with cuts in the long-term financial plans."
Callan also said that cohesion policy "should be limited to help those countries that need it most."