News Summary: EU summit to debate austerity budget
BUDGET WOES: Wealthy northern member states of the EU are pushing for a harshly pared-down budget for the 27-nation bloc, but the EU parliament says it is ready to reject a deal that curtails spending on growth and employment.
MEMBER DEMANDS: The two-day summit discusses the approximate €1 trillion ($1.35 trillion) budget for the years 2014-2020. Poorer eastern and southern countries want to ensure continued EU financial support.
SETTING PRIORITIES: A senior EU official said some items within the 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.