Lord Bruce of Donington
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Under what specific authority the European Commission set up the Unified External Service; what is the total number of persons comprising the service; what are their functions and terms of reference; and what is the total annual cost of the service in both ecus and pounds sterling, supported by reference to specific budget heads and sub-heads in the Commission's 1994 and 1995 budgets.
§ Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
The European Commission has always maintained a network of offices in countries outside the European Community, to distribute aid under Community programmes, to monitor barriers to trade, to give economic and technical assistance, and to disseminate information. The Commission has started to reorganise the management structure of these offices to improve efficiency, and last year renamed it the "Unified External Service". The service comprises some 2,400 staff; 600 of these are Brussels-based Commission officials, subject to the normal Community staff regulations; the remainder are locally-engaged staff. The 1994 budget for the Commission's external representations was 180.472 mecu or £139.64 million; the 1995 budget is 193.444 mecu or £160.48 million. This budget comes under the administrative section of the EC budget (budget Chapter A60, page 484 of Volume 37 of the Official Journal of 31 December 1994).