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Poland and Portugal lead push against EU budget cuts

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 13.11.2012 10:04
Poland and Portugal are co-organising a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday with 15 countries that are opposed to funding cuts in the EU budget for 2014-2020.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk on his way to Brussels: photo - PAP/Leszek Szymanski

The meeting at the European Parliament, which is being led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Portuguese counterpart Pedro Passos Coelho, takes in members of the so-called 'Friends of Cohesion Group', and comes just days before the EU summit of 22-23 November.

Poland itself could suffer considerable cuts, as indicated by a budget draft submitted a fortnight ago by Cyprus, current holder of the presidency of the EU Council.

According to the draft, the EU's cohesion fund, which is designed to compensate less developed countries, could be cut by 23 billion euro for the period 2014-2020.

The European Commission had previously earmarked Poland to be the chief beneficiary of the cohesion funding programme for 2014-2020.

Among the countries represented at today's meeting is Austria, with MEP Constanze Krehl declaring in a statement yesterday that “in these times of crisis, cohesion funds can help the EU to achieve economic recovery.

“The new negotiating position proposed by the Cyprus presidency sets out a 13.9% cut compared to the European Commission’s proposal. This is not acceptable.”

Komorowski joins Tusk in Brussels

Meanwhile, President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski will join Tusk in Brussels for a two-day visit, beginning on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Komorowski, accompanied by First Lady Anna Komorowska, will meet with President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, as well as King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Paola.

On Wednesday, Komorowski will take part in talks with Poland's delegation in Brussels and Prime Minister of Belgium Elio di Rupo, alongside Belgian politicians. (nh)

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