EU civil war: MEPs spark fury with plot to veto bloc’s next budget – ‘They don’t care’

They have vowed to block the EU budget if member states refuse to hand over more cash for the fight against climate change, digitalisation and to further the bloc’s geopolitical ambitions. “The Parliament will not give its consent to the MFF without an agreement of reform of the EU’s own resources system,” five political leaders in the Parliament wrote in an open letter to EU Council President Charles Michel. The letter was penned by the EPP’s Manfred Weber, socialist chief Iratxe Garcia Perez, Renew Europe’s Dacian Ciolos, and the Greens’ Ska Keller and Philippe Lambert.

They added: “Parliament is united and firm on its position. President David Sassoli will defend this position at the next EU summit.”

European leaders will gather in Brussels next week for crunch talks on the EU’s next seven-year budget.

Diplomats and officials believe the talks, which start on Thursday, could last up to 100 hours as capitals hope to reach an agreement on the funding the bloc between 2021-2027.

Many insiders believe the crunch summit will end without a result, leaving leaders once again needing to travel back to Brussels for another meeting in the future.

The Parliament has come under criticism for demanding a vast increase in member states’ contributions to the EU’s cash coffers.

The institution wants a budget of 1.3 percent of gross national income, where as the previous Finnish presidency of the EU has recommended 1.07 percent – leaving a €240 billion gap between them.

A majority of MEPs will have to approve the seven-year spending plans and swathes of legislation that goes with it.

If they refuse to do so before the end of 2020, the bloc will find itself forced to freeze spending on dozens of lucrative programmes until a deal is concluded.

An EU diplomat said: “Again a sign that this European Parliament never actually meets a voter.

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“MEPs don’t seem to care because their work here is far more eminent than the fruitless toiling of national leaders.”

Brussels is faced with replacing tens of billions in contributions from Britain now the country has left the bloc.

European commission President Ursula von der Leyen this week predicted the EU’s coffers would be €75 billion short without the UK’s cash.

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“Arriving at an agreement will therefore be a serious challenge, we all know this,” she told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Despite the shortfall, many in Brussels want the bloc to continue splurging out on expensive foreign policy and climate change projects.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said: ‘The European Union needs to shoulder greater responsibility for its own security and also step up its geopolitical presence.

“When it comes to something as vital as defence, EU powers are limited.”

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