The third meeting between Parliament and the Council, on 22 March, on the financial perspective made little progress. Parliament wants an extra 12 billion euro added on top of the 862.4 billion euro budget deal agreed at the EU summit in December 2005.
The EP sees the extra 12 billion euros as "necessary" to fund policies with a high "community added value". Education, research, trans-european networks and crossborder cooperation are mentioned, but in addition the flexibility instrument in the budget, which is used for unforeseen eventualities, needs more funds according to the EP.
However, Austrian finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser spoke of "wishful thinking" and has warned that an extra 12 billion euros is "completely unrealistic"; only around 1.5 billion euros is realistic, in his view.The next meeting is scheduled for 4 April.