To ask Her Majesty's Government how the proposed budget of the European External Action Service of €45 billion over seven years will be spent; what will be the heads of expenditure; and whether they have assessed any risk of the new service duplicating the functions of the existing international representatives of the European Commission. [HL3125]
The budget for the European External Action Service (EEAS), including the heads of expenditure, has not yet been agreed. A Commission proposal on the budget of the EEAS is expected once the Council has adopted the decision establishing the organisation and functioning of the EEAS. The Government consider that the EEAS administration budget should aim to be budget-neutral. In October 2009 the European Council endorsed guidelines stating that “unnecessary duplication of tasks, functions and resources with other structures should be avoided” and that the establishment of the EEAS should be guided by the “principle of cost-efficiency aiming towards budget neutrality”. EU delegations have replaced the existing network of Commission delegations around the world with staff from the Council Secretariat and member states incorporated.