Please find attached the opinion of the European Court of Auditors on a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, as regards the European External Action Service.

The Court is concerned by the fact that the attempt to safeguard, as much as possible, the internal Commission procedures and standards for the implementation of its appropriations, in a new and more complex institutional framework, is sought through (a) significant derogations to the Financial Regulation, since subdelegations of the Commission powers of budget implementation will be granted to authorizing officers (Head of Delegations) who will no longer belong to Commission departments; (b) increased complexity in the financial management and reporting missions and operations of the Delegations ; and (c) considerable uncertainty regarding the budgetary allocation and management of administrative and support expenditure of Union Delegations, an issue which is not clarified in the proposal.