EU summit ends without agreement

The special summit in Brussels aimed at agreeing the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 has ended without results. EU Council President Charles Michel had proposed a budget amounting to 1.074 percent of the EU's combined gross national income. However, some countries called for that sum to be higher while net contributors like Germany wanted to pay just 1.0 percent. Europe's press is disappointed and demands changes.

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El País (ES) /

Europe has no hunger for power

Without money the EU's ambitions will come to nothing, El País laments:

“A special summit in Brussels, a failed night-time debate aimed at endowing Europe with the financial resources it needs to create the EU we envision - that sounds ambitious. ... But without the necessary resources the European ambition to be a relevant global player is nothing but rhetoric. ... As Britain embarks on a journey into uncertainty, the 27 EU states must now make do without the 12 billion euros a year they received from London - at a time when we need more than ever a Europe that can act as a counterweight to the US giant and the already hugely powerful China, which is expanding its influence on all continents. ... Europe has no hunger for power. We Europeans come from Venus.”

Les Echos (FR) /

Haggling like carpet dealers

A sustainable Europe remains wishful thinking as long as the member states have to hash out a deal on its budget with each other, complains the business daily Les Echos:

“The future projects risk falling victim to the whole thing. From the 'Green Deal' to the Europe of defence, they could be sacrificed at the budget altar on the grounds that it is always easier to forgo projects in planning than those that have already been worked out. ... And how to get around such financial logic? By developing Europe's own resources rather than requiring countries to finance 80 percent of its budget. That is precisely the objective of the CO2 tax and the digital tax that the EU Commission is pushing for. ... This is the precondition for the 27 to stop haggling over Europe's finances like carpet dealers.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Money only for adherence to rule of law

Upholding European values will play an increasingly important role in the distribution of EU funds, Hospodářské noviny believes:

“The fact that the summit on the EU budget for the years 2021 to 2027 ended without results came as no surprise. Even more than before, doubts about whether certain member states share the values on which the European Union was built played a role here. The idea of making subsidies contingent on adherence to the rule of law is therefore also being discussed. Prague doesn't yet have these problems, but the Czech prime minister is facing a probe into suspected violation of the European directive on conflicts of interest. But how can the new rule of law also be enforced by governments that deny that they have such problems in the first place and reject criticism as interference in their internal affairs?”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Loyalty counts for nothing in Brussels

Pointing out that Ireland, which was loyal to Brussels in the Brexit negotiations, will now have to pay more towards the EU budget, the Daily Telegraph concludes that Euroscepticism is entirely warranted:

“We've been fed the myth by Brussels and the Remainers that the EU is an utterly united bloc of equally important nations, but now that Britain is on the way out, and taking its money with it, it is dog‑eat‑dog on the chaotic continent. Leo Varadkar, for instance - still running Ireland until coalition talks produce an alternative - has been put in the miserable position of representing his country in budget discussions, and his stock has clearly plummeted. The EU has informed him that Ireland must pay more and receive less. This is how the Eurocrats repay loyalty, and it is one reason why the UK was so keen to get out.”