Only hours before EU leaders are due to meet in Brussels, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso called on MEPs and European governments to reach a deal on the 2013 EU budget.
During a plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Barroso warned that he EU’s executive is running out of money and might not be able to pays its bills as from mid-November.
According to the Commission, the current shortfall is due to unexpected low income from European imports duties.
‘Please, at least, vote amending budget 6 , if not there will be a “rupture of payment, but I am not asking on behalf of the Council; I am asking this on behalf of the Commission, I think it is my duty to call the attention of all the parts of the budgetary authorities, council and Parliament, about the negative consequences. (…). But please let’s avoid a rupture of payment, that would not be in the interest of the image of the institutions’, said European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly rejected suggestions on Tuesday that the unfulfilled gap could lead to a “shutdown”, as it recently happened in the US.
But as EU treaties forbid a budget deficit, the Commission urged the Parliament and the Council to quickly agree on the amending budget.
‘This is not an EU shutdown. This is not comparable to the US system in any way. The EU will continue to function properly in the coming weeks.(…). The president of the Commission had a phone conversation with president Schulz yesterday to inform him of the risk we face in terms of payments and the need to find agreement between the Council and the EP‘, said European Commission’s spokesperson Olivier Bailly.
Following an emergency meeting of the Parliament’s budget committee, MEPs agreed on Tuesday to give the green light to the proposed increased budget.
The Parliament is now due to vote on Thursday whether they approve an extra of 2.7 billion euros.