February 23, 2018 / 1:03 PM / 4 months ago

Highlights: EU leaders' summit on top jobs and future budget

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders meet in Brussels on Friday for an informal summit to discuss the future post-Brexit budget and other issues, such as how to determine the next European Commission president and what to do with Britain’s seats in the European Parliament.

An official takes a photograph through flags at a European Union heads of state informal meeting in Brussels, Belgium February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The following are comments from leaders arriving at the summit.

DANISH PRIME MINISTER LARS LOKKE RASMUSSEN

On budget....

“Well I think it is quite obvious that we need some conditionality. If you are a member of the European Union you are a full member, which comes with rights and obligations. You have to balance that.”

LITHUANIA PRESIDENT DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE

On the budget....

“It is a matter of political decisions how we manage to decide on size. That is a matter of political will. We have a lot of new challenges as well as the Brexit. That means between the payments after Brexit and the promises of new policies there is a lack of financial resources of about 20 percent. We have to decide to either decrease the budget or find new European resources or taxes or to reduce some other old programs. It is up to us to discuss.”

“Under the treaties the purpose of the cohesion funds, the structural funds is better convergence, not for anything else.”

On future European Commission president....

“Again under the treaties, again, there is the notion that any decision on the candidates for the European positions need to reflect the outcome of the European elections. Those are foreseen for May 2019, not before.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Robert-Jan Bartunek

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