Minister of State Simon Harris will today represent Ireland at the ECOFIN (Budget) Council on Friday 13th November in Brussels to negotiate with the European Parliament and Commission the European Union’s 2016 budget.
The main focus of today's meeting will be on agreeing a budget for next year which will provide the EU with the necessary resources to underpin its policies and fund the various programmes it will implement, including investment in growth and jobs, which is a key priority for Ireland. Equally both the Council and Parliament attach a high priority to measures to address the migration crisis.
Minister Harris stated “Discussions must respond to the challenges that confront Europe and provide the means to respond to the refugee crisis, adverse conditions affecting the agri-sector, and continue to boost jobs and growth within the MFF financing limits and respecting Member States’ financing capacities.
Minister Harris added “Ireland’s priorities include ensuring funding to address difficult market conditions faced by the EU agricultural sector and ensuing problems faced by farming communities. Discussion outcomes must also reflect measures agreed to address the current migration crisis. While we must provide sufficient EU support for research to underpin knowledge-based economic activity in Ireland.”
The Commission has proposed a budget of €144 billion in payments, whilst Council and Parliament have separate positions. It can be expected the negotiations will centre on striking a balanced outcome, which should leave sufficient margin for unforeseen circumstances which could arise next year, whilst also accommodating expenditure demands arising from migration and the agricultural sector.
Media Contact: Richard Troy, 087-0641625