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EU leaders are now shifting to “real negotiations” over the long-term budget and recovery plan, and aim to confer in person next month, European Council President Charles Michel said after they met via videoconference on Friday.
Leaders spent about four hours on the video call, with officials saying that countries mostly repeated their existing positions on the European Commission’s proposal for a â‚¬1.1 trillion core EU budget and associated â‚¬750 billion recovery fund.
“Now we shift to another phase. We will negotiate,” Michel told reporters, adding that he is “committed to start immediately real negotiations with the member states.”
The Council chief plans to “put on the table some concrete proposalsâ€ and then convene a summit in Brussels in the middle of next month. Michel acknowledged a range of issues remains unresolved, including how recovery money should be allocated.
Both Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged leaders to move quickly to take a decision.
It is “essential that we lose no time,” von der Leyen said, adding that she was “glad to hear that many leaders stress that we must do everything in our power to reach an agreement soon in the European Council before the summer break.”
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