Germany and France, the two-stroke engine that has driven EU integration for half a century, also have their demands.
The Germans want to keep a lid on spending, but they are also by no means as uncompromising as the British. They want EU outlays limited to 1 percent of GDP over 2014-2020.
France also knows its priorities, and when it comes to the EU budget, it has long been farming. When Van Rompuy’s proposal outlined a reduction in the agriculture budget, it immediately met a firm Gallic ‘‘non.’’
Countries like Sweden specifically seek farm cuts that would slice its share well below the current 40 percent of the budget and instead move more funds into new industries.
‘‘We need a modern budget for the future,’’ said Swedish EU Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, ‘‘not the fifties.’’