Poorer EU members oppose cuts in long-term budget

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PRAGUE (AP) — The leaders and representatives of 17 European Union countries say they are against proposed cuts in EU funds designed to reduce regional differences among members.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who hosted their meeting Tuesday, says they "absolutely disagree" with the cuts.

The outgoing European Commission has proposed reducing the cohesion policy's funding by about 10% for the 2021-2027 budget.

New EU members from Central and Eastern Europe and some other countries benefited from the policy.

The proposal comes as one of the countries contributing to it, Britain, is set to leave the bloc.

The countries want to retain the same level of funding for the cohesion policy as in the current budget and also call for the funds to be spent according to their priorities.

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