Public consultation on external relations funding

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on how the EU should fund
its external relations activities, in particular the European External Action Service
(EEAS). Contributions will be used by the Commission next year when preparing its
proposals for the EU budget after 2013. The EU budget has been the subject of much
wrangling in recent weeks between the EU institutions, following pressure from some
member states to impose tough restrictions on future EU budgets and fierce resistance from Parliament. The Commission website states: ‘‘Challenges for the future are plentiful. The EU’s external action must tackle global problems such as climate
change, energy security, and economic and financial stability. The 2015 deadline for
the Millennium Development Goals is also rapidly approaching, with more effort still
required as regards poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, sanitation and environmental sustainability.” See