EU leaders agree to $1.3 trillion budget

European leaders agree to significantly pared-back $1.3 trillion 7-year budget

Associated Press
EU leaders agree to $1.28 trillion 7-year budget
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From left, Estonia's Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Secretary General of the Council Uwe Crsepius during a group photo at a EU Budget summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. European Union leaders drew hard lines Thursday ahead of a struggle over EU spending for the next seven years that reflects deep divisions about the role of their union. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union leaders have agreed to a budget worth €960 billion ($1.3 trillion), a significantly reduced sum that represents the first decrease in a budget in the union's history.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Friday that the agreement had been reached after two days of negotiations.

A senior EU official said the final number for the seven-year budget was €960 billion — much less than the €1.03 trillion that the EU's executive arm, the EU Commission, originally proposed.

The two-day fight over what the EU pledged to spend on everything from infrastructure to development aid laid bare divisions over what the role of the union should be.

"It's done!" a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel tweeted. "The 27 EU members have agreed on a budgetary framework for 2014-2020. Europe has shown itself to be capable of acting."

The EU Parliament must still approve the deal — and they have suggested that such drastic cuts are unacceptable.

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