The European Union on Thursday confirmed it will stage an extraordinary summit of leaders in November to try and settle arguments over an estimated trillion euros of EU spending.
European Commission budget spokesman Patrizio Fiorillo said ministers meeting in Cyprus had agreed to pass the issue up to a summit in November, as reported by AFP on Wednesday, but that no "firm date" could yet be communicated.
The EU expects to have an estimated 1.0 trillion euros ($1.25 trillion at current exchange rates) to spend in a seven-year budgetary cycle from 2014 to 2020, but is progressing painfully through drawn-out negotiations over its spending plans and its funding mechanisms.
Leaders are already scheduled to gather at EU headquarters in Brussels on October 18-19, when bailouts for Greece and Spain are expected to dominate the discussion, and again on December 13-14.
The Cypriot minister chairing the talks, Andreas Mavroyiannis, said that the budget battle would go to heads of state and government "most probably in an extraordinary European Council in November... where we aim to reach an agreement."
Negotiators face fights over farm subsidies and aid for poorer regions (with each counting for 40 percent of its budget) or whether and to what extent the EU should be free to raise more of its own money via taxes, notably on financial transactions.
The EU's budget has long been a headache for the tens of thousands of mostly Brussels-based staff that run the supra-national organisation.
But arguments against ever-rising spending -- the annual budget is currently headed towards 140 billion euros -- have sharpened since the financial and debt crises first bit in 2008.
United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron has led successive calls first for cuts and then a freeze on EU spending in real terms, and can be expected to be a vocal figure come the talks.
Farming support is sacrosanct for the French, while cohesion spending to improve infrastructure in poorer areas is considered untouchable by the likes of Poland.