It seems that the Council and the European Parliament have failed to agree by today's deadline. A blocking minority of net contributors on the Council wanted reductions and were blocking a supplementary budget for extra expenditure backdated for 2012. This afternoon before the final meeting of the Council-Parliament conciliation committee, Martin Schulz, the President of Parliament, announced that negotiations had failed [click here].
Since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty that was supposed to empower the Parliament, this is the second time that agreement has broken down. It happened for the 2011 budget as well. In the eventual budgets for 2011 and 2012, the final figures agreed were far closer to the preferences of the Council and further away from the preferences of the Parliament than had been the case before the passage of the Lisbon Treaty. It seems that Lisbon has resulted in budgetary deflation and greater negotiating power not for the Council as a whole but for a minority of national governments large enough to block the formation of a qualified majority that could have made an agreement with the Parliament.