Proposed new European Union budget to be unveiled

Additional funds would be used on defence and border control Juncker said likely seeing a shift of cash from eastern to southern Europe which has borne the brunt of the migrant crisis

The commission's proposals for the EU's 2021-2027 budget are to be followed by negotiations between the bloc's member countries, with each trying to secure the biggest slice of the pie it can. That will require member states to increase contributions and absorb spending cuts which could potentially be targeted at the CAP, the committee indicated.

It's fair to say that the plans are leaving nearly everyone unhappy, from French farmers angry about looming reductions in funding to a number of national governments hating to pay more with populism and anti-Brussels sentiments on the rise in many member countries for years. Reductions will hit the so-called cohesion funds used for development in poorer European nations.

Most of that money now goes to eastern former Soviet bloc countries which are still catching up economically.

This shortfall will require other member states to increase contributions and absorb spending cuts, potentially hitting the largest single European Union item of expenditure - the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - the hardest.

Thirdly, protests by French farmers are likely over any attempt to cut the Common Agricultural Policy, from which they are the biggest beneficiaries.

Guntram Wolff of the Bruegel think tank told DW it was right to reduce farming subsidies.

Poland and Hungary are up in arms over a proposal to link funding to respect for the rule of law while several countries refuse to contribute more to fill the hole left by Britain's departure.

Firstly, Warsaw and Budapest, locked in battle with Brussels over democratic standards and their refusal to accept refugees, oppose any attempt to impose conditions on the billions in funds they get from the bloc.

"We will not accept arbitrary mechanisms which will make the funds an instrument of political pressure", Polish Deputy European Affairs Minister Konrad Szymanski said.

A position paper published by the European Parliament Committee on Budgets recognised the need to improve the structure of the MFF and proposed expenditure to fall under the following headings: a stronger and sustainable economy, stronger cohesion and solidarity in Europe, stronger responsibility in the world, security, peace and stability for all and an efficient administration at the service of Europeans.

While Brexit is a key concern for the Government, committee chairman Colm Brophy TD also said, "Member states must recommit themselves to programmes focused on aiding EU members most affected by migration and on combatting racism, terrorism and youth unemployment throughout the union".

Polish Radio reported that the commission, the EU's executive, has proposed earmarking Euro 392 billion for cohesion funds and Euro 336 billion for agricultural policy in total.

Foreign aid and development funding has been a large part of the EU's soft power which supports worldwide diplomacy in the absence of a unified military.



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