Agricultural spending by the European Union (EU) will fall from 2007-13 under the medium-term budget agreement struck on Friday, says a detailed communiqué released by EU officials.

Spending on “agriculture-market related expenditure and direct payments” will decline steadily from €43.1bn in 2007 to €40.6bn in 2013, heads of government agreed in complex negotiations in Brussels.

Between those years, spending will be €42.7bn in 2008; €42.2bn in 2009; €41.8bn in 2010; €41.4bn in 2011; and €41bn in 2012, (at 2004 market prices). These sums will be ceilings, divided amongst member states under a set formula, although, in a concession to countries seeking to pay more subsidies, governments may “transfer additional sums” to rural development programmes – up to 20% of their national agricultural spending caps. Some €33bn in rural development funds will go to the new 10 EU member states and incoming members Romania and Bulgaria.