Shortly before the EU summit scheduled for Thursday, a meeting is planned involving presidents of the European Commission, European Parliament and Council, Jose Manuel Barroso, Martin Schulz, and Herman Van Rompuy, as well as the Irish prime minister.
Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said on Tuesday he expected an agreement on the seven-year budget until the end of the week, i.e., by the end of the Irish EU presidency.
If the agreement is not reached, the responsibility for holding the negotiations with the European Parliament (EP) will go to Lithuania, which is taking over EU Council presidency from Ireland for six months on July 1.
The EP demands a higher degree of flexibility in the funding. Hannes Swoboda, president of the EP group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said in Vilnius last week that the Irish-proposed draft had no majority support in the European Parliament.
With the agreement reached on the entire budget, Lithuania will still have to head the talks in the areas of more than 70 pieces of legislation. The agreements are necessary to allow the money to reach member-states in 2014.
The total EU financial aid package for Lithuania for the 2014-2020 period should total 44.5 billion litas (EUR 12.9b).