European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has announced that a tentative deal has been reached on the seven-year budget. An agreement on the compromise had been delayed for months.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday announced a political deal on the EU's hotly contested 2014-2020 budget, worth 960 billion euros ($1.27 trillion) which could now come into effect next year.
Barroso said the deal had been reached between the Commission, which is the EU executive, the European Parliament leadership, and Ireland, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.
The accord must still be formally approved by EU Parliament lawmakers.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said he expected a big fight in parliament when the budget is put to a vote in next week's plenary session.
"This is not what I thought would be the best solution, but it is the maximum I could, and we could, negotiate here," Schulz said after agreeing to the deal with EU member states.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he was "confident" that all EU member states would support the deal.
The seven-year EU budget regulates what the bloc can spend on things such as agricultural subsidies, infrastructure and measures to support employment.
The process of trying to finalize a budget for the years 2014-2020 had been going on for several months, with EU leaders stepping up their calls to come to an agreement before the summer break.
The leaders of the EU's 27 member states agreed back in February on the current compromise, which represents a first-ever spending cut.
A provision included in the EU's 2007 Lisbon Treaty gives the European Parliament a say in fiscal matters, meaning this is the first time that the EU has needed their approval to implement a long-term budget.
rg/hc (dpa, AP, AFP)