The leaders of France and Germany say they doubt an agreement can be reached on the European Union's next budget.
President Francois Hollande and Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke shortly after the official opening of the EU summit in Brussels, which began late due to stark differences over budget plans.
Their comments contrast with those of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, who says a compromise is possible.
"We have to work with European interests in mind, alongside the national interest and together we will find a balanced solution," he said.
"It's necessary and I'm convinced it's within our reach."