The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament reaffirmed yesterday its intention to treat all issues concerning the setting up of the new EU foreign service as a single package. Parliament’s assessment of the main proposal will thus be linked to decisions on the budget and staffing of the new service.
The leaders of the political groups reiterated that Parliament will deal with all the proposals on the creation EEAS together. Formal negotiations with the Council and the Commission would therefore start only after the complete set of proposals has been submitted. The group leaders and the rapporteurs involved concluded that this made it unlikely that the entire package could be dealt with before summer. The group leaders also made it clear that approval of the service’s budget and staff allocations was conditional on approval of the final plans to be submitted by the High Representative/Vice-President Baroness Ashton on the make-up of the EEAS. A particular concern for Parliament is that the EEAS be a fully European instrument, rather than an intergovernmental one.
In order to develop a coherent strategy regarding the EEAS it was also decided to regularly put this issue on the agenda of upcoming meetings of the Conference of Presidents, while Parliament President Jerzy Buzek will continue to meet periodically with all the relevant rapporteurs.
Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) have been named rapporteurs for assessing the proposals by Baroness Ashton for “establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service”. Together they will draw up a non-binding resolution containing this assessment.
Ingeborg Grässle (EPP, DE) has been appointed rapporteur for changes to the EU Financial Regulation, which will create the legal basis for establishing a budget for the EEAS. The European Parliament has co-decision on this issue and will thus decide on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers on such changes to the Financial Regulation.
Bernhard Rapkay (S&D, DE) has been appointed rapporteur for creating a statute on the basis of which staff can be appointed to the EEAS. Here again, the Parliament has co-decision.
REF. : 20100416IPR72928