European Union member states are expected later this month to give the heads of EU delegations in developing countries formal authorization to manage assistance funding from the European Development Fund.
The authorization will plug a gap in the management of EDF money that resulted from the launch of the European External Action Service in December, the European Voice says.
Under arrangements after the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission remained responsible for managing the EDF, which has a €22.7 billion ($31.3 billion) budget for 2008-2013, but it was no longer in charge of the EU delegations, which were put under the new external action service. Due to these arrangements, heads of EU delegations were not entitled to commit and sign-off disbursements of EDF money.
The European Commission tabled a proposal in December to amend the arrangements and delegate powers to heads of EU delegations to allow them to commit EDF funding on behalf of the commission. The European Voice says member states, which fund the EDF, are expected to approve the commission’s proposal by the end of the month.
In the interim, EDF money has been managed by the most senior EU commission official in charge of development cooperation within the individual delegations, which, the European Voice says, is not being seen as ideal because that can prompt hesitation, delay and legal uncertainty.
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