As EU Faces Lower Budget, Parliament Calls for 'Clearer' Priorities

With budget resources of the European Union expected to dwindle after 2013, members of Parliament are calling for clearer spending priorities.

European External Action Service Chief Operating Officer David O’Sullivan and EU development commissioner Andris Pielbalgs were among those quizzed Feb. 2 by Parliament’s Policy Challenges Committee on spending priorities.

The bloc’s new diplomatic corps can help save funding in national diplomatic budgets when the service begins operations “and have started trusting it to replace their national diplomats,” according to O’Sullivan.

“[H]e hoped that some resources, up to 10 percent, could be made available when people who now have the same tasks in different institutions (Council, Commission, national diplomatic services) can work together. These saved resources could be used to cover sudden and urgent needs,” according to a Feb. 2 release by Parliament.

Meanwhile, Piebalgs urged EU member states that already specialize in a specific region or sector to continue their work. He said that the European Commission should focus its efforts “on what is best done at [the] EU level.”

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.