The commission also has part-control of three crisis management and pro-democracy funds - the so-called EIDHR, IfS and CFSP, worth €1 billion.
Ashton proposes EIDHR and IfS projects - then Piebalgs' people take over and draft the final blueprints, while keeping EEAS staff "fully informed" and inviting them to their meetings. Ashton also proposes CFSP projects, but a commission office - the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments [FPI] - writes the assessment study used by EU countries to decide which ones go forward and drafts the final blueprint.
Atop this, commission officials oversee how Ashton's service spends its own €500-million-a-year budget.
Michael Mann said the process takes one week. "It takes about a month and this is supposed to be our fastest instrument," the head of delegation noted.
The contact added that there is a split between the EEAS, which wants to use development aid to support political goals, and Piebalgs' people, who take a "Biblical" view of helping the poor.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.