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EU leaders agree to $1.3 trillion budget

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 8, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.

— European Union leaders have agreed to a budget worth $1.3 trillion, a significantly reduced sum that represents the first decrease in a budget in the union’s history.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Friday that the agreement had been reached after two days of negotiations.

A senior EU official said the final number for the seven-year budget was $1.3 trillion — much less than the $1.35 trillion that the EU’s executive arm, the EU Commission, originally proposed.

The two-day fight over what the EU pledged to spend on everything from infrastructure to development aid laid bare divisions over what the role of the union should be.

“It’s done!” a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel tweeted. “The 27 EU members have agreed on a budgetary framework for 2014-2020. Europe has shown itself to be capable of acting.”

The EU Parliament must still approve the deal — and they have suggested that such drastic cuts are unacceptable.

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