The president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has confirmed that negotiations on the EU budget will recommence early next year.
He described the discussions as "constructive" and said he believed there was a "sufficient degree of potential convergence" to make an agreement possible.
He said the failure of the present talks to reach agreement should not be "dramatised" and that such negotiations "generally take two goes".
The Prime Minister's performance at this EU summit has been interesting and it hints at a more tactical engagement with Europe.
The Prime Minister has hit out at EU institutions for not going far enough to rein in spending as budget talks were postponed until January.
Getting 27 people with different interests to agree to anything is hard, but the lack of solidarity among EU members can be striking.