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EU/BALKANS: EU STEPS UP FINANCIAL CONTROL OVER OHR AND UNMIK.

Armin Laschet welcomed the European Parliament's backing of his proposal, pointing out that its significance is that this proposal transfers full responsibility for the implementation of the UNMIK budget to the Commission under the First Pillar, under Section III of the EU General Budget. Because of this new transfer to the First Pillar, the Parliament will also be able to have more involvement in the legislative consultation procedure, and would have to be consulted in any decisions made regarding Special Envoys, whilst maintaining and even enhancing its own role in the budgetary procedure. Up to now, in the absence of a legal basis allowing the Community to contribute financially to the installation and operation of the bodies concerned, the European Union's contribution to financing these bodies had been made through the Common Foreign and Security Policy under the Second Pillar on the authority of the Council.Substantial amounts of money.The Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control earlier this year highlighted the substantial amounts involved: the 2000 Budget for the Office of the High Representative amounts to around Euro 28 million, to which the EU contributes about 53%; the EU contribution to UNMIK will be Euro 12 million. An extra Euro 27 million is to be earmarked for the region next year. The CFSP monopoly over financial decisions to these bodies had eroded the Commission's management facility over the UNMIK. And in March, the Court of Auditors released a report condemning the OHR's financial management in 1998 (see European Report No 2483).In a separate move, the European Union has welcomed the issue of travel documents as legal title to free movement, subject to visa regulations. The EU has encouraged Member States and the neighbouring States of Kosovo to recognise the Travel Documents that come under UNMIK Regulation 2000/18 of 29 March, for residents of Kosovo, who are granted the status of Habitual Resident of Kosovo.

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Comment:EU/BALKANS: EU STEPS UP FINANCIAL CONTROL OVER OHR AND UNMIK.
Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EU
Date:May 10, 2000
Words:316
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