In the European Commission, financing Decisions are generally adopted by the College of the European Commission following a “written procedure” with the participation of all Commissioners. Prior to the adoption, the Directorate-General that presents the draft financing Decision has to launch a consultation of other Commission departments concerned (an “inter-service consultation”), and has to obtain their agreement. The deadlines for reply are established in the European Commission’s internal rules and the procedure can be suspended by any actor without a prescribed deadline for lifting the suspension.
In the case of DG ECHO, the HAC has also to be consulted, and the EP exercises its right of scrutiny before the financing Decisions can be adopted by the Commission. This procedure takes from 2 to 4 months, depending on the time of the year.
The Humanitarian Aid Regulation however recognises the need to establish specific rapid financing Decision-making procedures in the field of humanitarian aid for Emergency financing Decisions up to and including EUR 10,000,000 and non-Emergency Decisions up to and including EUR 2,000,000. The HAC and the European Parliament have not to be consulted under these rapid procedures.
On the contrary, the consultation of the HAC and scrutiny of the European Parliament is mandatory for:
The European Commission equally recognised the need to have specific procedures for adopting financing Decisions in the field of humanitarian aid and has adopted special procedures in its internal rules granting the Commissioner in charge of humanitarian aid the power to act on behalf of the College of Commissioners in a number of cases, and delegating to the Director-General of DG ECHO the adoption of certain financing Decisions under very precise circumstances.
These rules known as the “empowerment” concern financing Decisions which have duration of up to 18 months and a value up to and including EUR 30,000,000:
The Commission shall notify in writing the Humanitarian Organisations who are identified in the financing decision as potential partners, within fifteen calendar days following the date of adoption of the financing decision, and publish the financing decision on the website of DG ECHO.
References and useful links