Prime Minister Robert Abela advocates bigger EU budget in his first European Council meeting

Robert Abela says he is overcome by the respect that Malta was shown during the taxing 28-hour meeting

Prime Minister Robert Abela during his first European Council meeting
Prime Minister Robert Abela during his first European Council meeting

Prime Minister Robert Abela represented one in 17 European countries that advocated for a bigger European budget than that proposed by the European Council in his first council meeting. 

An extraordinary meeting of the European Council on the multi-annual financial framework lasted for around 28 hours as the principal point of divergence was the size of the EU budget for the next seven years. 

"Everyone explained his position. We are saying that the total budget shouldn't be less because there are particular sectors like common agricultural politics and the cohesion funds that are so important to the principles that the EU is founded upon," Abela said. "The discussions need to continue in the next summit and I am faithful that an agreement will be reached."

17 countries agree that the next seven-year EU budget should be larger than that proposed by the council, while just four countries disagree and say it should be less. 

This budget will start operating in January of next year.

Abela remarked that he was overcome by the respect that Malta enjoys during these meetings. 

"I felt very welcome; I delivered Malta's position and negotiated firmly for the name of our country. I am committed to keep working so that Malta can keep moving forward," he said.

The purpose of the multi-annual financial framework is to align EU spending with its political priorities and to ensure EU budgetary discipline. 

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