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Questions for Baroness Ashton on External Action Service budget

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton met with MEPs from the Budgetary Control committee (CONT) to discuss the ‘discharge’ (signing off) of the 2011 accounts for the External Action Service (EEAS), as part of Parliament’s scrutiny of the implementation of the EU budget.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton met with MEPs from the Budgetary Control committee (CONT) to discuss the ‘discharge’ (signing off) of the 2011 accounts for the External Action Service (EEAS), as part of Parliament’s scrutiny of the implementation of the EU budget.

Karel Pinxtena, and Baudilio Tomé Muguruza, members of the European Court of Auditors, were present at the exchange of views.

ECR Budgetary Control spokesman Ryszard Czarnecki MEP, rapporteur for the EEAS discharge report, asked Baroness Ashton numerous questions in addition to her replies for the questionnaire that was sent to her by the CONT Committee.

“Whilst welcoming the constructive engagement of the EEAS and the positive attitude of Baroness Ashton herself in this first ever discharge procedure since its creation, there are still important questions to be answered.

“What practical measures, for example, are being taken to ensure better synergies between the EEAS and DEVCO and national diplomacies? I am concerned that the cooperation to date has been far from smooth.

“I am also very worried that there might be insufficient oversight of the management practices within EEAS delegations across the world which have given rise to reports of significant mistakes in procurement procedures and taxation management. I am looking for assurances that best practices are being urgently identified and shared”, Mr Czarnecki said.

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