EU chief concerned about 'severe cuts' proposed for next EU budget

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends the media briefing after the first meeting of her new college of commissioners in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The head of the European Union’s executive arm, German conservative Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday she was concerned about the “severe cuts” proposed for the bloc’s long-term budget from 2021.

European Commission head von der Leyen was commenting on the most recent proposal by current EU president Finland, as a tug-of-war between the bloc’s member states drags on over their joint spending for 2021-27.

The Finnish proposal to cap the budget at 1.07% of the bloc’s gross national income (GNI) came in below the ceiling of 1.11% put forward by the Commission but above the 1% level pushed by the biggest net payer Germany.

Reporting by Marine Strauss, Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Hugh Lawson