EP News Report, 25 March 2003
Parliament's Budgets Committee, after consulting the Environment Committee twice, voiced its consent on Tuesday for all of the administrative budget for the new European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) to be released. Half of the EFSA's funds (i.e. 4.36 million euros) were placed in reserve by Parliament last year.
The Environment Committee had proposed last week that 2.18 million euros (a quarter of the budget) should be kept in reserve as long as the final decision on the seat of the EFSA is pending (see News Report of 19 March). Helsinki and Parma are in competition for the headquarters of the agency, which is meanwhile provisionally based in Brussels.
However, the Budgets Committee rapporteur Göran FÄRM (PES, S) asked the Environment Committee to choose between releasing or keeping in reserve all of the remaining administrative funds. Today Tuesday, Environment Committee chair Caroline JACKSON (EPP-ED, UK) consulted her committee again, which agreed that if these were the options it would be better not to prevent the EFSA from recruiting staff. However, both the Budgets Committee and the Environment Committee insist this decision should not be interpreted as the Environment Committee supporting Brussels as the final seat of the EFSA.