The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/06/13cag-pf/
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Jean Asselborn: "Reaching an agreement on the 2007-2013 financial perspectives in the European Council of 16 and 17 June would be good for Europe"
At the conclusion of the meeting of the "General Affairs" Council, held in Luxembourg on 13 June, the current President of the Council of the European Union, Jean Asselborn, summarised the discussions that the European ministers for foreign affairs had in a conclave the previous day on the EU’s 2007-2013 financial perspectives:
"The new "2 June negotiation box" was introduced at yesterday’s conclave, and we listened to comments in order to prepare the final version of the negotiation box that will be put on the table on 15 June.
The 2 June version of the negotiation box includes, for the first time, figures by heading that illustrate our approach. The total of the figures submitted in our package stands at 870 billion euros. Compared to the Commission’s initial proposal - 1.24% of the EU’s GDP – this package shows an overall decrease, and thus we have now arrived at a figure of 1.056% of community GDP for the financial commitments.
But it must be said that these figures amount to increases ranging from 5% to 18% in average annual growth over 2006.
We have also attempted to reflect the importance of the cohesion policy. Consequently, we strived to limit decreases in this area as much as possible. The changes made in the methods of allocating funds to the cohesion policy depend first and foremost on the general desire to concentrate available financial resources in the less prosperous regions and Member States.The latest version of the negotiation box goes into a bit more detail with regard to the solution under consideration for the resources. There is no doubt that the conclusion of an agreement on the European financial package requires the preparation of a balanced compromise and thus the acceptance of some sacrifices, on the obvious condition that they are shared evenly. All the delegations used this sentence last night. Finally, I would like to point out that we are resolved to reach an agreement during the European Council of 16 and 17 June. That would be good for Europe."