European Council President Charles Michel on Saturday invited EU leaders to a special summit on February 20 to discuss the 2021-2027 EU budget.
“The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the Multiannual Financial Framework,” Michel wrote in a letter to leaders.
“Any postponement would create serious practical and political problems and jeopardise the continuation of current programs and policies as well as the launch of new ones,” he said, noting that “all sides will need to demonstrate a spirit of compromise. I count on your support in this respect.”
Diplomats say that many disagreements related to the composition of the next budget have largely been resolved, leaving a few key political issues — in particular the size of the final budget and whether rebates will be included — for leaders to address. Nevertheless, some governments remain concerned about the amount of funding that will be dedicated to regional development.
“In the coming days I will consult with you before tabling an overall proposal in view of the February meeting, which will be prepared in the usual fashion,” Michel added.