#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – August 04 – EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso’s travel expenses in 2012 were almost three times as high as those of foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Barroso in Bethlehem, in July 2012 (Photo:ec.europa.eu)
According to the figures released by the secretary general of the EU commission, Catherine Day, Barroso’s travel expenses in 2012 amounted to €649,336.72, more than double the expenses he filed in 2013.
He was followed by Ashton, with €280,962.69 and development commissioner Andris Piebalgs, with €202,406.94.
In 2013, Ashton ranked first, with €468.728,77, followed by Barroso (€262.058,89) and Piebalgs (€235.343,42).
Another jet-setter, with expenses above €100,000 a year, was economics commissioner Olli Rehn, who in 2012 and 2013 was still battling with the eurocrisis and travelling to capitals to secure bailout payments for the troubled southern economies.
Italy’s industry commissioner Antonio Tajani also travelled for more than €100,000 a year, as did the commissioners for energy, trade, humanitarian aid, neighbourhood and enlargement, regional policy and climate change.
At the other end of the scale is transport commissioner Siim Kallas, who only spent €40,364.01 in 2012 and Croatia’s Neven Mimica, who joined the commission only in July 2013 and spent 27.695,89 on travels that year.
In total, EU commissioners spent €3.4 million on travelling in 2012 and €3.3 million the following year.
Day refused to release a more detailed account of the expenses citing privacy concerns and a "disproportionate administrative burden" for the commission to process and blacken out the personal details in over 1000 mission cost documents per year.