Latvia ready for lengthy EU budget negotiations

Latvia's Foreign Ministry said May 2 it was prepared for a lengthy process of negotiation over the size and shape of a future European Union budget once the United Kingdom has left the Union.

"In order to compensate for the gap caused by Brexit and make it possible to finance both the traditional policies (the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy) and the new policies (security, defence, migration and external borders), the European Commission offers an overall increase in the EU’s budget," the ministry said in a reaction to initial negotiations in Brussels on the matter.

"The Commission’s proposal forms the basis for further negotiations; however, doubts remain whether the total EU budget that has been offered would be enough to finance all of its policies – the traditional and new alike.

"We believe that the convergence of living standards within the EU should be the main priority for the multiannual budget. Regrettably, the Commission’s proposal of a reduced funding for the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy is contrary to this goal," the ministry said

Latvia will lobby for adequate cohesion funding under the next multiannual financial framework and what it called "fair financing under the Common Agricultural Policy," it was stated.

A more detailed opinion on Latvia's reaction to the EU’s budget proposal for the 2021-2027 period is expected after the policy funding criteria are published around the end of May and early June.

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