EU AGREEMENT OVER 7 YEAR BUDGET

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Following meetings this morning in Brussels, Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed his delight as a political agreement was reached over the E.U budget .

Having mandated on behalf all member states, the Taosieach and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, who acted as lead negotiator, will now present the agreement to the member states for endorsement.

Mr Kenny described the event as an “important day for Europe” adding that: “ Our political agreement this morning is an example of the EU rising to a challenge. Where there is belief, cooperation and conviction, Europe can deliver.”

Once approved by all member states, it is set to cover over 70 legislative acts across the 27 countries currently in the EU.

The budget, which was laid out last February by the European Council for the next seven years, proposes to devote half of the expenditure on “Smart and Inclusive Growth” as part of a five point plan known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

A new funding initiative, the Connecting Europe Facility, will be established as part of the budget to support cross-border infrastructure in an effort to boost growth and jobs. Once endorsed, the budget will also see a growth to spending in sectors of education and training.

One of the key areas to be looked at in the five point plan is agriculture. It will see a staggering 380 billion euros allocated to agricultural and rural development, as part of the E.U’s plan to create a “greener Europe”.

Speaking after yesterday morning’s meetings, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said: “Today’s  political agreement represents a fair compromise that can be supported by all institutions. Once finalised, this unlocks €960 billion in investment in growth and jobs over the next seven years.”

A full breakdown of the MFF can be found on the E.U website, www.europa.eu.

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