The Commission proposes changes to the current financial rules, required by the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The changes are mainly linked to the status of the EEAS: an autonomous institution, with its own administrative budget for which it will be responsible before the European Parliament. For operational expenditure, such as EU development aid, EEAS heads of delegations will be exceptionally allowed to spend it on behalf of the European Commission (under the current rules only the Commission can implement the EU's operational budget).
The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty has equipped the EU with its own diplomatic corps, made up of the representatives of the EU institutions (the European Commission and the Council) and diplomats from member states. The EEAS will draw from the Commission's experience in development aid and crisis response, and it will boost the EU's presence on the world stage.