EEAS proposal unacceptable to the European Parliament

Today the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission has published her draft decision on the setting up of the External Action Service.

Elmar Brok (EPP rapporteur) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE rapporteur), Hannes Swoboda (S&D) and Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Greens/EFA) find that the proposal is not acceptable to the Parliament. They regret that despite many contacts over the past weeks, the High Representative has chosen not to take Parliament’s views sufficiently into account. The proposal needs decisive changes, otherwise the European Parliament will not be able to carry forward the required modifications of the Staff and Financial Regulation.

There are three main reasons:

  1. The political accountability of the EAS to Parliament is not addressed. A coherent and effective foreign policy service must be fully accountable to the European Parliament in budgetary and political terms.
  2. The EAS must be ambitious and include all aspects of external policy – including development. It is only through creating greater coherence that the EU will be able to have a voice and a role in the world. The proposed artificial separation of part of the development competences between EAS services and Commission services is a recipe for incoherence.
  3. The proposed structure with an omnipotent secretary general and deputy secretary generals does not provide the politically legitimised deputies that the High Rep needs in order to do her job properly. What is needed are political deputies that can engage on her behalf with both Parliament and partners in third countries.

Brüssel, den 25. März 2010
Elmar Brok (EVP/CDU)

For more information
Office of Elmar Brok MEP, +32 228 47323