asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to obtain recovery by the European Community of money from the 12,000 EEC employees who have been overpaid.
The Community staff regulations, established by Council regulation, have the status of administrative law and preclude the recovery of money from staff except in certain special cases. This is not such a case. The money was legally, if unintentionally, paid, since it was authorised by a Council regulation. However, we do not believe that payments which were not intended by the Council should be allowed to continue indefinitely. We believe that measures could and should be implemented which would put a stop to the overpayments. This is why I recorded our views to this effect in a statement to the Foreign Affairs Council on 26th June. The question is being further studied in Brussels.