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"Friends of Cohesion" reject EU budget cuts

EPA-EFE/NUNO VEIGA
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa (C), next to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic (C-L), at the start of the Friends of Cohesion Group meeting in Beja, Portugal, 01 February 2020.

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Funding for 2021-2027 “should maintain the level” of the previous budget, said in a joint declaration the “Friends of Cohesion” countries during a summit held in the Portuguese city of Beja on Saturday.
“Cohesion policy funding for 2021-2027 should maintain the level of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework in real terms. No member state should suffer a sharp and disproportionate reduction in its cohesion budget,” reads the joint declaration by the leaders of the affected nations.
The declaration was signed by 15 out of 17 “Friends of Cohesion”, with Italy and Croatia, that was represented by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, not signing the deal, as the country is currently holding the rotating EU Council Presidency and has to remain neutral.
The invitation to the “Friends of Cohesion” summit was made by Portugal’s Prime Minister, António Costa with the aim of discussing further steps in defending the cohesion and agricultural policies in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
While budget talks are at a stalemate, the summit took place one day after the EU waved goodbye to the UK, one of the bloc’s largest economies and major budget contributors and a few days after Charles Michel, EU Council’s President called for an emergency summit on the bloc’s budget, to be held on 20 February.
 
 

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