Negotiations on the European Union’s budget for 2013 have broken down in acrimony after MEPs and a group of member states failed to strike a deal in eight hours of talks in Brussels today (9 November). MEPs walked out from the talks with national budget or finance ministers when a group of eight member states including the UK and Germany refused to sign off on a Commission request for topping up the budget for 2012 by €10 billion. New talks have tentatively been scheduled for Tuesday (13 November) – just hours before a deadline for the adoption of the current draft budget. But officials and diplomats say that a deal by Tuesday appears unlikely. Under EU rules, the Commission will have to submit a new draft budget if no deal is in place by midnight Tuesday. The break-down casts a shadow over a special EU summit on 22-23 November where national leaders are supposed to agree the EU’s multi-annual financial framework for 2014-20. Diplomats and officials said that in eight hours of talks, MEPs and national budget or finance ministers had not even discussed the 2013 budget but were stuck on the Commission’s top-up request for 2012. The Commission says that it needs €9 billion to pay for outstanding commitments under the current budget and €670 million in earthquake aid for Italy. MEPs insisted that the requests constituted a legal obligation for the EU and that they should be adopted before the talks turned to the 2013 budget. But eight member states -Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Austria – questioned the Commission’s figures and demanded that other sources of financing, primarily unspent EU money from other budget lines, should be used. Janusz Lewandowski, the commissioner for financial programming and budget, proposed at the end of the talks to shift €1.4bn from the draft amending budget for 2012 to next year’s budget, but a diplomat said that he had “doubts this will fly” with the member states. Lewandowski said: “The important part of this compromise is that we need €9bn.” “What is essential is to stick to 9bn needs as a minimum without redeployment” from other budget lines, he said.