Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid and the EU institutions
Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid's work is explicitly linked to other Directorate Generals (DG), notably those responsible for external relations and development. However, other European Union institutions have an influence on Development and Cooperation -EuropeAid’s work, as explained below.
The Council of the European Union
Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid's relations with the Council of the European Union focus on two areas: firstly, the Council fixes the policy framework in which Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid operates, and secondly the Union's budget (co-decided by the Parliament and the Council) provides the funds for the external assistance programmes which EuropeAid manages. Decisions on the budget involve a dialogue in which Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid gives substantial information to the Member States on the various programmes, and Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid also responds to the audit reports which are sent to the Council by the Europan Court of Auditors. Council also examines closely the Annual Report on development policy and the implementation of external assistance, produced by Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid on close collaboration with other Directorates General.
In turn, the Commission needs to assess Council decisions that are likely to have an influence on its work.
EuropeAid is mostly involved in discussions with the Council relating to:
- COREPER: the meeting of Member States' ambassadors.
- The Development Cooperation Working Party.
- The ACP Working Party.
- The Budget Working Party.
European Parliament (EP)
This is important for the following reasons:
- The EP – depending on the domain – advises, gives its opinion and has to approve budget and programming proposals from the Commission. It also has to approve the results of the Commission's work.
- It shows EuropeAid’s willingness to co-operate and communicate openly about its aims and objectives. It also gives the EuropeAid an opportunity to explain its methods and working practices.
- It confirms that there is a duty for both parties to keep the European citizen informed about the work of the European Union. This is necessary because the public cannot always distinguish the different European institutions. Explaining how decisions are made and how work is carried will improve people’s understanding of the EU.
- It helps to keep cabinets and EuropeAid staff up to speed on Parliamentary decisions that affect their work.
EuropeAid mainly follows these EP Committees:
- The Budgets Committee
- The Budgetary Control Committee
- The Development Committee
- The External Affairs Committee
- The International Trade Committee
EuropeAid staff are often present to reply to oral questions. Written questions and questionnaires are also answered before and after meetings.
The European Court of Auditors
The Court of Auditors decides whether the Commission – including EuropeAid – has used the right procedures and whether the Commission has done everything possible and legally permissible to achieve its goals.
Formal information or clarifications are needed by EuropeAid specifically for:
- Its annual report, which is the basis for the Déclaration de l'Assurance (DAS).
- Mission reports and sector letters on specific audit activities, for instance on the use of the European Development Fund.
Occasionally, the Court asks for additional information relating to EuropeAid activities.