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Italy critical of proposed EU budget for 2014-2020

Italian ambassador takes issue with cuts to cohesion funds

14 November, 19:19
Italy critical of proposed EU budget for 2014-2020 (ANSA) – Brussels, November 14 – Italy’s ambassador to the European Union on Wednesday said that the 2014-2020 budget presented to the 27 member states by EU President Herman Van Rompuy was "a step backwards".

In statements after the budget was presented, Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, the Italian ambassador to the EU, said: "We don’t feel that this new proposal offers a positive contribution to the search for a compromise to which everybody can agree, be they net contributors, net beneficiaries, friends of cohesion and friends of 'better spending'".

Referring to next week’s EU budget summit, Nelli Feroci said: "We feel that the conditions for an agreement are getting further away rather than closer".

Italy’s ambassador pointed out how under the new budget proposal the country's access to EU cohesion funds – which help member states' poorer areas with investments in infrastructure – is decreasing.

There is a "significant reduction in the resources available for the country," Nelli Feroci said, pointing also to drastic cuts in funding for agricultural projects also.

Nelli Feroci also criticized the fact that the UK retains its budget reimbursement and took issue with the "discounts" offered to net contributor countries like Germany, Sweden and Holland.

"Italy will continue to work over the coming weeks towards reaching an deal everybody can agree to," the ambassador said.