Spend more or do less? European Union leaders discuss post-Brexit budget

Juncker's 'monster' moves to top EU job

Ahead of Friday's meeting in Brussels, President of the European Council Donald Tusk asked the leaders if they were ready to pay more into the budget.

Britain's departure will leave a hole of about €10bn a year in the EU's budget, and the European Commission has warned that without an increase in contributions from member states, there will have to be cuts to the biggest spending areas, the CAP and structural and regional funds. The number of Member States is decreasing, it is logical to reduce the number of Members.

The EU 27 will also give their views on changes to the European Parliament after Brexit, particularly what to do with the 73 seats now held by British MEPs.

France, which becomes the EU's second-largest economy after the British depart, will be expected to pay only an extra €1.2 billion a year, and Italy only an additional €1 billion. "Britain is leaving so that part needs to be removed from the budget".

"That would be only about 10 euro cents per day more than now, for each German", said Mr Oettinger.

The executive Commission wants the budget to increase to 1.1-1.2 percent of European Union gross national income from 1.0 percent now.

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"The EU budget has been usually deeply divisive".

In a major reshuffle of the top ranks of the EU civil service, the European Commission has appointed Jean-Claude Juncker's right-hand man as the organisation's secretary general.

"I think we want to have new priorities, new policies, future-oriented policies, and if we can not reduce to the right extent old policies then countries have to pay more", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on arrival.

The 63-year-old Mr Juncker, who is standing down next year, wants to make this "top of the list" arrangement permanent by getting governments to agree to follow the same procedure in the European Union parliamentary elections scheduled for May next year. In recent debates we have set out new priorities, such as stemming illegal migration, improving European security and defence as well as investing more in the Erasmus programme.

The European Parliament recently torpedoed a plan backed by French President Emmanuel Macron for the 2019 elections to feature some pan-EU MEPs, rather than each MEP being directly elected by constituencies in member states. Last time it took the European Union more than two years to reach an accord on the spending plan.



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