published: 07.02.2013, 15:20 | updated: 07.02.2013 15:24:31
Brussels - The Czech Republic is prepared to veto the EU 2014-20 draft budget, Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said today, adding that the existing draft was unfair and unacceptable.
"I am arriving in Brussels to attend the talks on a seven-year financial framework with a strong and unanimous mandate of the government of the Czech Republic. This proposal is unacceptable to us and we are prepared to use even a veto," Necas told reporters when he arrived to the summit.
The summit was originally to start at 15:00 CET. However, the beginning was postponed until 17:30 at the very last moment to give the EU countries' leaders more time for various bilateral meetings to tune up their stances ahead of the summit.
The countries have been so far at odds, among others, about the total level of the EU expenditures in 2014-2020 and their distribution among particular EU programmes and countries.
The summit talks are to last till late at night. Moreover, diplomats expect the two-day summit to continue until the weekend.
The EU seven-year budget would amount to over 970 billion euros after the EU President Herman Van Rompuy-proposed cuts. Some EU members consider it insufficient. Besides, Van Rompuy is expected to propose further cuts at the beginning of the summit.
Necas did not specify his demands to be presented at the summit.
"We want a lower and modern European budget, but also a European budget that will be fair to the Czech Republic. We do not want any privileges. Nevertheless, this draft is unfair to us," Necas pointed out.
It is primarily crucial for the Czech Republic how much money it could draw from the cohesion policy in support of rather poor EU regions. All Czech regions except for Prague are in this category.
It ensued from the previous summit that the Czech Republic might get some 19.6 billion euros but the country wanted slightly more.
Necas did not mention any concrete figures today.
The Czech Republic requires a fair treatment, which means that no country is discriminated against, Necas said without elaborating.
"The several-year financial framework must be adopted unanimously... If this draft is not fair to the Czech Republic, as the PM I will be obliged to defend its interests and the interests of its citizens," Necas noted.
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