Europe's hard-pressed dairy industry has been guaranteed EU financial support next year as part of the EU's 2010 budget.

Dairy funds have been the focus of last-minute talks where the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers agreed there should be EUR300m of emergency spending for the European milk industry. Some EUR20m will fund dairy industry export refunds.

The budget also explicitly mentions "the restructuring of the dairy sector" as a priority for EUR420m worth of rural development programmes.

EU budget commissioner Algirdas Šemeta, presiding over a budget worth EUR122.9bn (US$182.89bn), highlighted the "value of European spending... in difficult, unstable times".