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Monday, 04 October 2010

EEAS needs stringent budget control, say MEPs

European External Action Service (EEAS) budgeting rules were beefed up by the Budgets and Budgetary Control committees on Tuesday, to ensure transparency and financial accountability. MEPs inserted a provision requiring a "working document" to detail external action spending, and new rules on conflicts of interest. They also stipulated that heads of EEAS delegations must complete specific budget training courses before taking up their duties.  Before the European External Action Service (EEAS) is launched, several legislative changes are  needed for the service to function, including changes in budget and staff rules. The amendments inserted in the financial regulations by Budgets and Budgetary Control committees on Tuesday include stringent provisions on traceability and budgetary and financial accountability. Ingeborg Gräßle (EPP, DE) and Crescenzio Rivellini (EPP, IT), who steered the draft legislation through Parliament, also want to ensure that Parliament has its say, in order to ensure democratic scrutiny of how the EU budget is implemented. In budgetary terms, the EEAS will be treated as an EU institution, i.e. will enjoy the budgetary autonomy afforded by having its own section in the EU budget. Like all other institutions, it will  implement its own administrative expenditure. It will also require a discharge from the European Parliament for its implementation. Parliament will therefore exercise its full budgetary and control powers vis-à-vis the EEAS. The Commission will remain in charge of the service's operational budget.

Source: European Parliament