Today's important negotiations on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework focussed especially on Cohesion, Agriculture and Infrastructure. Although the discussions were constructive, there is still a considerable gap between national positions. But negotiations are on the right track and moving forward as planned. Towards the end of the Danish Presidency a comprehensive draft agreement will be presented as a basis for final negotiations in the Council in the second half of 2012 before being submitted to the European Council.
Minister for European Affairs, Nicolai Wammen, states: “There is still considerable distance between positions on Cohesion and Agricultural Policies. It is in itself not surprising. Because, here, really strong interests and a lot of money is at stake for the Member States. Today's negotiations show that there is a need for the Member States now to prioritize and compromise, so the differences can be narrowed down, and we can get closer to an agreement. Nevertheless, today's negotiations were positive and constructive, and they brought us closer to an agreement on a comprehensive basis of agreement in the latter part of the Danish Presidency."
The Council also had a positive and constructive discussion on the reform of the European cohesion policy. The discussion confirmed the political will of the EU member states to achieve good progress in the negotiations on the future cohesion policy during the Danish Presidency. In light of the current economic situation in Europe, the EU member states agreed on the importance of the cohesion policy in facilitating growth and employment. More concretely, the ministers reached a preliminary agreement on parts of the cohesion policy for the period 2014-20 including the so-called thematic blocks such as programming, management and control, monitoring and evaluation.