On Thursday 27 June 2013 at the invitation of ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP, European Liberal Democrat leaders met at the Concert Noble in Brussels ahead of the European Council meeting.
Responding to reports suggesting a deal had been reached on the next EU Multi-annual Financial Framework, ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson said: "We were very pleased to see that an agreement was reached at a meeting this morning by the President of the Commission, the President in office of the Council and the European Parliament on the budget. It seems to me personally that what is on offer should be sufficient to satisfy the European Parliament and we can go ahead and sign off the budget deal so that within the next six months all of the necessary arrangements can be made to allow for the seven-year Multi-annual Financial Framework to begin on the 1st of January."
However, Sir Graham said the general feeling around the table was that the Council is still missing the mark in terms of getting the EU back on a sound economic footing. ''We regretted the fact that nowhere in the council conclusions are they talking about the things most important to creating jobs and growth which are the further opening up of the internal market, particularly the opening of the internal market in services, and the trade agreements which we so desperately need with Canada, Japan, India and the United States of America and others if we are to bring growth and jobs back into our economy and if we are to remain innovative.''
The following Liberal leaders were in attendance:
Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister, Estonia
Alenka Bratušek, Prime Minister, Slovenia
Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions, Belgium
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank
Olli Rehn, Vice President, Commissioner for Economic & Monetary Affairs
Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment
Sir Graham Watson MEP, ALDE Party President