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EU leaders fail to reach agreement on long-term budget

President of the European Council Charles Michel
President of the European Council Charles Michel
BRUSSELS, Feb 21 (KUNA) -- Leaders of the 27-member European Union Friday failed to reach an agreement on the Union's budget for the next seven years, 2021-2027, after two days of intensive talks in Brussels.
"In the last days we have worked very hard in order to try to reach an agreement. Unfortunately today we have observed that it was not possible to reach an agreement," the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, admitted during a press conference this evening.
"We need more time. We know that this European budget is a very difficult topic. Very difficult negotiation after Brexit and the gap between 65 (USD 70 billion) and 70 billion euro (USD 75 billion )," he said.
"We will see in the future on how to work on this topic in order to succeed," he added.
Michel had convened the special EU summit to try to reach a deal on the long-term EU budget.
In a first reaction, European Parliament President David Sassoli in a statement said "the European Parliament is disappointed by the failure of the European Council to find an agreement on the next Multiannual Financial Framework." The leader of the Socialist and Democrats Group in the European Parliament Iratxe Garcia said the inability to reach a deal "reveals deep differences of vision between member states." "Today's deadlock does not bring a good omen for future negotiations. It shows, however, a lack of progressive approach from the Council," she added. (pick up previous) nk.ibi