★★★EU Agrees to $1.3 Trillion Budget

2013年03月01日 ★★★, 2013年6月以前の記事, Business, VOA.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. common ground/ˈkɑ:mən ˈgraʊnd/ (n.) an agreed basis, accepted by both or all parties, for identifying issues in an argument
  2. compromise /ˈkɑ:mprəˌmaɪz/ (n.) a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute
  3. vulnerable/ˈvʌlnərəbəl/ (adj.) easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally
  4. parliament /ˈpɑɚləmənt/ (n.) the group of people who are responsible for making the laws in some kinds of government
  5. deficit /ˈdɛfəsət/ (n.) an amount, such as an amount of money, that is less than the amount that is needed


EU Agrees to $1.3 Trillion Budget

* Read the text below

MP3 Download (right-click or option-click and save)

(1)European Union countries have struggled to find common ground as they worked out a budget agreement in Belgium this month. European leaders finally had success last week. They agreed on the European Union’s multiannual financial framework, or MMF, for the period from 2014 to 2020.

(2)The MMF sets the EU’s total spending at $1.3 trillion. That represents one percent of the total income of EU members. Members agreed to reduce total spending by over three percent for the period. This is the first time spending cuts have been made.

(3)European Council President Herman Van Rompuy spoke after the agreement was announced. He said the compromise budget may not be perfect. But he said it should help all EU members.

(4)“Our support to the most vulnerable people remains intact, so does our external action funding even despite the crisis. This budget will allow Europe to keep engaging on vital global issues such as climate change, nuclear safety and development aid.”

(5)German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the long-term spending plan. She said the agreement makes policy more predictable and enables members to act in the interest of Europe.

(6)Some EU leaders have been calling for greater spending controls in their home countries. They wanted the EU to show that it is willing to cut costs.
British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the agreement. Before the two-day meeting, he had threatened to veto the budget if there were no steps toward cutting spending.

(7)“So I think the British public can be proud that we have cut the seven-year credit card limit for the European Union for the first time ever. And as a result the EU’s seven-year budget will cost less than one percent of Europe’s gross national income. That is also for the first time ever.”

(8)The European parliament still must approve the measure. But some parliament members say it fails to deal with problems like the sharp wealth differences between rich and poor. Guy Verhofstadt from Belgium is a member of the European parliament. He does not think the measure will pass.

(9)“I don’t think that we shall have a majority in the parliament to approve this proposal…we are creating a big deficit of more than 50 billion euros and that is not acceptable.”

(10)If approved, the measure will affect 28 European Union countries. The EU says Croatia is expected to join the group in July.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. Do you think that the EU’s compromise for its budget is realistic? Would you consider the budget balanced and growth-oriented? Please explain your answer.
  2. How is your government answering the pressing concerns your country is experiencing right now? Has it ever met your expectations?
  3. Tell of a time wherein you are in a situation in which you had to arrive in a compromise. What factors did you consider before making a decision?


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the words from the article.

(1) common ground

EX) European Union countries have struggled to find common ground as they worked out a budget agreement in Belgium this month.

(2) compromise

EX) He said the compromise budget may not be perfect.