BRUSSELS — Britain led 10 other EU nations Thursday in its drive to reject a proposed 6 percent increase in EU's 2011 budget, insisting austerity in member nations must trigger moderation in EU outlays.

British Prime Minister David Cameron found support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and eight other leaders at an EU summit.

In an unusual joint appeal they said that any increase over 2.9 percent is unacceptable.

The 11 leaders called a proposal by the European Commission and the European Parliament to boost the EU's 2011 budget by 5.9 percent "especially unacceptable" when EU governments are imposing austerity at home.

Budget negotiations are to begin next week.

Cameron is pushing through deep cuts in British public spending totaling 81 billion pounds ($128 billion).

He told British lawmakers this week "the greatest priority for Britain should be to fight very hard to get the EU budget under control."

Addressing the EU leaders, Jerzy Buzek, the president of the European Parliament, defended a 6 percent spending rise.

The EU budget for 2011 is now projected at €142.6 billion ($198 billion), up 5.9 percent, if the EU assembly has its way. Buzek said that would bring new spending to benefit research, energy, environment, education and other areas and keep the EU budget at 1 percent of the EU's GDP.

He said that share has remained unchanged in 20 years while the EU membership rose from 12 to 27 members in that time.

Buzek's comments fell on deaf ears as Cameron won support from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Slovenia and Estonia.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, attending his first EU summit since his new right-wing coalition took office, backed Cameron's call for EU austerity.

He said the EU and its executive commission have to tailor their budgets to take into account the pain being felt by citizens across Europe as their governments slash spending.

"We are talking about enormous sacrifices with an enormous impact on a country," Rutte said. "We have to see the impact of this in European budgets over the coming years."

Under EU rules that took effect this year, these nations have enough votes to override a 5.9 percent budget rise next year.

Cameron's lobbying against such a rise came at a summit at which the EU leaders debated ways to boost budgetary discipline across-the-board through early warnings and fines of persistent overspenders such as Greece. (AP)