In a late effort at compromise at an earlier meeting in November, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy proposed a budget of €972 billion ($1.25 trillion) — €21 billion less than the 2007-2013 budget.
A senior EU official has said that, while Van Rompuy is proposing an overall cut, some items within his proposed budget will grow, including an effort to combat youth unemployment.
Spending on programs meant to ensure future prosperity, such as research and development, education and innovation, will also grow in real terms, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with EU policies.
Don Melvin contributed to this report.
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