The negotiations on the EU budget for 2015 have failed and this is putting the EU research budget under threat. The Commission must now put forward a new budget proposal.
Amongst the reasons that progress of the negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament have stalled is the increase in EU payments and unbudgeted fines.
Some Member States, in particular the UK, are refusing to give in to demands from MEPs for an 8.1 percent increase in EU payments in 2015 to revive growth, create jobs and encourage research and development and are instead pushing for a 3.7 percent increase, given the budgetary constraints that Member States are suffering.
MEPs have also complained that Member States waited until the conciliation time was about to run out to present a demand that €4.7 billion in unbudgeted fines income should go to national budgets to help them curb their fiscal deficits. The Parliament advocated these revenues to be used to settle some of the most urgent bills.
The Commission will have to work with the European Parliament and the Member States to get an agreement before the end of the year. If no deal is reached by then, the EU will have to run on provisional twelfths, i.e. one twelfth of the 2014 budget amount for each month will have to be approved. This could lead to delayed payments in research funding and major setbacks.