On 9 November 2015, the Conciliation Committee held its first meeting on the 2016 EU budget. The Committee mandated the Commission to prepare a draft joint text with the aim of reaching an agreement at the Committee's second meeting on 13 November. This first meeting of the Conciliation Committee also allowed the Council and the European Parliament to exchange views on their respective positions.
"The Council's objective is clear: it wants a 2016 budget that enables the EU to meet its current challenges in full respect of the multiannual financial framework agreed by both institutions for 2014-2020. And it wants a 2016 budget that provides the EU with sufficient leeway to react to unforeseen needs", said Pierre Gramegna, minister for Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council, adding: "The Council is in agreement with the Parliament that addressing the migration crisis is a top priority which needs to be reflected in the EU budget. "But the Council believes that if the EU wants to be credible we also have to honor our commitments and respect the expenditure ceilings of the EU's multiannual financial framework. Showing solidarity with refugees must therefore go hand in hand with setting the priorities according to the current needs and showing self-restraint at EU level."
Another topic was for all EU institutions, including the European Parliament, to live up to the commitment they made in December 2013 and reduce their staff numbers by 5% by 2017 compared to 2013. Commission calculations show that the Council's personnel would be cut by 4.5% and the Commission's by 4% by the end of 2016, compared to the posts authorized at the beginning of 2013. By contrast, the Parliament's staff would increase by 0.4% over the same period.