9 Feb 2013

Budget cuts agreed by EU

6:04 am on 9 February 2013

After almost 24 hours of negotiations in Brussels, EU leaders have reached agreement on cuts in their long-term budget for 2014 - 2020.

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% on the last budget.

The BBC reports the details are not yet public, but European Council President Herman van Rompuy said it was "worth waiting for".

Britain and the Netherlands have been pressing for cuts at a time of economic austerity. They were opposed by France and Italy who sought to protect spending.

The budget must still be approved by the European parliament. MEPs have previously said they were prepared to block anything that amounted to an "austerity" budget.

The overall 2014 - 2020 budget amounts to about 908 billion euros ($US1.2 trillion).