Brussels/New Delhi: Expecting to help millions who are struggling through government cutbacks and recession, European Union leaders reached an agreement on the first ever cut in their common budget.
This resulted after a 24 hour long meeting on Friday.
The expected deal met the demands of northern European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands that wanted belt-tightening, while maintaining spending on farm subsidies and infrastructure to satisfy the likes of France and Poland.
It will be the first net reduction to the EU's long-term budget in the bloc's history, representing a decrease of around 3 percent on the last budget and shaving spending in areas from infrastructure to administration and scientific research.
Last-minute haggling over precisely how to divide up the 960 billion euros ($1.3 trillion) to be spent between 2014 and 2020 drew out the process, before Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council and chairman of the summit, announced that a definitive deal had been struck among the leaders.
"Deal done!" he said in a message posted on Twitter, saying that the agreement had secured a budget until the end of the decade. "Worth waiting for," the message added.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Friday, February 8, 2013, 23:28