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European leaders have reached agreement on the first ever cut to the EU’s budget in its 56 year history.

Brussels will work to a ceiling of 960 billion euros between 2014 and 2020.

The deal will see a real term cut of around 3 percent.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told a press conference: “This is a budget of moderation. We simply could not ignore the extremely difficult economic realities across Europe. So it had to be a leaner budget. For the first time ever, there is a real cut compared to the last multi-annual financial framework.”

Negotiators spent the previous 24 hours of the EU leaders’ summit haggling over which areas of the budget could be trimmed.

In total, around 34 billion euros in both commitments and payments will be cut.

The deal must now be approved by the European Parliament which is likely to take several months and is far from guaranteed.

The EU calculates two budget numbers. As well as the ‘commitments’ figure of 960 billion euros, a lower ‘payments’ figure’ of 908 billion euros indicates what will actually be spent.

The payments figure was low enough to convince Britain, which focuses on payments rather than
commitments, that it was getting a satisfactory deal.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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