EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about the proposed European External Action Service was published by EurActiv on 23rd March 2010.

There are scandalous cases of corruption in EU peace missions and there would be many more if “grey zones” are not removed from blueprints for setting up the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Green group warned today (23 March).

There are clear cases of corruption in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and if Parliament does not speak up, a similar system that breeds corruption could be reproduced in the EEAS, German MEP Franziska Brantner (Greens/EFA group) told journalists.

“There are EU special representatives that have monthly travel budgets of roughly 100,000 euros. And when you ask them ‘where do you fly to?’, you don’t get any answers,” she said.

Brantner, who is her group’s shadow rapporteur on the EEAS, said journalists were “investigating operations both in Afghanistan and Kosovo”.

Under the current system, “you only need the head of the mission to sign,” the German MEP said. “It’s incredible. There is no budget line for our mission in Somalia. We don’t know how much has been spent in Somalia on staff, on building, etc. It’s very opaque,” she lamented.

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