The deadlock over the European Union’s budget for next year threatens the commencement of the European External Action Service, which is set to be launched Wednesday (Dec. 1).
The diplomatic corps will be staffed by 1,525 senior officials from the European Commission and various EU institutions. Without an approved 2011 EU budget by Dec. 25, the officials will not be transferred to the corps. They will remain in their current posts and the EEAS will not be put into service.
Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands vetoed Nov. 15 a “flexibility instrument” that calls for an additional 3.4 billion pounds (USD5.4 billion) in the EU budget next year.
The EEAS’ budget for 2011 will reach 404 million pounds (USD630 million) and 8 billion pounds by 2013, The Telegraph reports.