Select Committee on European Scrutiny First Report


COM(00) 378

Preliminary Draft Supplementary and Amending Budget No. 2/2001.

Legal base: Article 272 EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
Document originated: 15 March 2001
Forwarded to the Council: 16 March 2001
Deposited in Parliament: 5 April 2001
Department: HM Treasury
Basis of consideration: EM of 23 April 2001
Previous Committee Report: None; but see HC 23-ii (1999-2000), paragraph 20 (1 December 1999)
Discussed in Council: Already discussed
Committee's assessment: Politically important
Committee's decision: Cleared


31.1  The adopted EC Budget for 2001 is set out in paragraph 44 of this Report. When the Commission proposes amendments to the budget during the year, it presents a Preliminary Draft Supplementary and Amending Budget (PDSAB), which is then considered by the European Parliament and the Council. The Council formally adopts a Draft Supplementary and Amending Budget (DSAB) and agreement is sought with the European Parliament on the final version.

31.2  In March 2001, our predecessors considered the first round of amendments in the form of the PDSAB (No.1) and the DSAB (No.1). These amendments related to increased spending on agriculture to deal with the additional costs associated with the BSE crisis, changes in the euro-dollar exchange rate and enabling the programme in the Balkans to extend beyond Kosovo and Serbia to Montenegro.

31.3  For convenience, we set out in the Annex to this paragraph the figures for the 2001 EC Budget, including the subsequent changes.

The document

31.4  The present document (PDSAB No. 2) proposes 9.85 million euros (£6.1m) for 2001 to for extra staff to deal with the civilian aspects of crisis management. This proposal follows from the conclusions of the European Councils at Santa Maria de Feira and Nice on the strengthening of the Common European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). A total of 51 staff posts, including ancillary staff, will be required to operate the new body. Twenty-two of the staff posts are to be found through redeployment of existing Council Secretariat staff. The details are as follows:

  • 39 'A' posts in the General Secretariat of the Council. (17 new posts and 22 posts found through redeployment);

  • 2 new 'B' posts (administrative structure);

  • 4 temporary 'Cl' posts (secretarial support);

  • 28 new posts (8 'A', 14 'B', 6 'C') strengthening security and infrastructure.

The Government's view

31.5  In her Explanatory Memorandum of 23 April 2001, the then Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Melanie Johnson) told us:

    "The UK Government supports the Commission proposals, which strengthen the European Security and Defence Policy as agreed at the European Councils of Santa Maria da Feira and Nice."

31.6  The UK Government believes that appropriations intended to alter allowances for seconded national experts should be included in the budget, but left undrawn in a budgetary reserve pending a decision on whether this should be paid by Member States or from the EC Budget.



31.7  The document concerning the creation of permanent crisis management structures was considered by the previous Committee and recommended for debate.[52] We have no questions to ask on the present document and clear it accordingly.

52  (21826) -; HC 23-xxxi (1999-2000), paragraph 3 (29 November 2000). Back

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