Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Monday, 22 November 2010

The Record: Europe

20 November edition
Lucy Thomas

Budget talks halted

For the first time in more than 30 years the European Union has failed to agree a budget.

The Record Europe investigates what went wrong, how much it matters and what happens next.

The breakdown of talks between representatives of the EU's 27 governments and the European Parliament has led to bitter accusations and recriminations on both sides.

MEPs debate the budget impasse

At one point it looked as if an agreement on next year's spending for the EU was well within reach but now the deadlock is genuine.

Shirin Wheeler speaks to:

Richard Ashworth, British Conservative and member of the European Parliament's Budgets Committee

Patrizio Fiorilli, European Commission spokesman on Budgets

Rebecca Harms, German MEP and the co-President of the Green group

Sidonia Jedrzejewska, the Polish centre-right MEP responsible for drafting the Parliament's position on the 2011 budget

Shirin also speaks to the man tasked with the job of trying to get a deal.

With Belgium currently in the EU presidency hotseat, it fell to Belgium's Budget Secretary to oversee negotiations.

Melchior Wathelet tells the programme that he found the intransigence of some member states 'frustrating' but that he's confident a deal will eventually be struck.

Irish woes continue

Ireland seeks EU help

The EU is being accused by some of being a poisoned chalice.

The economic plight of Ireland has been transfixing the EU this week but there is growing resistance to rescue.

The Record Europe's Shirin Wheeler speaks to one of Brussels' longest serving correspondents, the Irish Examiner's Ann Cahill, and the director of the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies, Daniel Gros.

The Record: Europe examines the key moments in the political week in Brussels and Strasbourg and focuses on the work of the European Parliament and European Commission.

It is broadcast on BBC Parliament on Saturdays at 2300 GMT, Sundays at 1700 GMT and Mondays at 1000 GMT, on BBC World on Saturdays and Sundays at 0630 CET and on the BBC News channel on Sundays at 0530 GMT and Mondays at 0330 GMT.

You can also watch full coverage of the plenary sessions of the European Parliament and selected committee hearings at BBC Democracy Live.

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