Diplomacy costs the President of the European Council an extra 500,000 euros

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, asked for a budget increase of 27.5%, equal to about 500,000 euros. As Politico reports, the request will serve to pay for more international travel as Michel deals with the diplomatic ramifications of Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to an internal document.

According to the estimated expenses and revenues of the Presidency, the budget “related to the function of the President of the Council of Europe” will increase from 2 million Euros to 2.5 million Euros in 2024. The document states that this is “primarily due to travel expenses given the intense international activity that continues following Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine.” Michel’s spokesman, Barend Leyts, stressed that this is a “technical document” in which the prime minister’s “cabinet” “will not be involved or consulted”, adding that “the cabinet does not interfere with such procedures” and “this is a cost estimate”.

Unlike national governments, the Council and Commission do not have their own aircraft and must fly on commercial flights or chartered private jets. According to a table in the document, while actual travel expenses were 1.7 million euros in 2022, an increase of 1.9 million euros is expected for 2024, an increase of 12%. However, according to the same table, the estimated travel budget for 2023 decreased by 34% to 1.4 million Euros between the 2023 budget and the 2024 projection.

Source: Today IT