Brussels is reportedly wrestling over new funding for Ukraine and how to deal with migration
The EU should give serious thought to limiting its spending plans, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged on Friday at a closed-door meeting of the heads of member states, sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg.
Leaders reportedly wrangled with each other and with the bloc’s executive arm over the proposed spending plan late into Thursday night, with many pushing for new funding to help Ukraine and to address migration.
The German chancellor claimed the European Commission was just talking about spending money, without a real discussion about reducing expenditures, people who asked not to be named told the outlet.
EU authorities have been plugging away at the bloc’s 2024 budget for months. The official deadline for an agreement is December, but some member states have signaled that the shifting of funds may continue into the new year.
The bloc’s budget through 2027 is already overstretched due to continued military aid and technical support to Ukraine, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the latest interest rate hikes that have increased the cost of government borrowing amid the energy crisis and rising inflation.
No one reportedly voiced support for new spending, except when it comes to the financial package for Ukraine worth €50 billion ($53 billion), sources told Bloomberg.
Allocating funds for Kiev is also a challenge given budget constraints in Brussels and in the member states. Moreover, Slovakia’s new prime minister Robert Fico has joined his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in opposing new money for Ukraine.
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