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According to documents, officials at the European Maritime Safety Agency insisted on having high-quality Champagne, red and white wines served at their “VIP” soirees. The institution, based in Lisbon, Portugal, also demanded only the “finest and freshest products” be used to create dishes served at the gatherings. It is currently inviting firms to bid for the contract to cater to “provide coffee-breaks, lunches, dinners, and cocktails for events organised at the EMSA headquarters or other venues” for the next four years.
The EMSA, a specialist European Union agency, monitors and provides safety guidance for vessels operating in and around the bloc.
“The main responsibility of the contractor is to provide healthy, balanced and tasty food options to EMSA’s staff and visitors,” the tender document reads.
“The contractor shall provide a nutritious and attractively presented selection of food and drinks that encourages healthy food choices.
“The contractor shall strive to optimise the use of water, energy and minimise waste, reducing the environmental impact.”
The eventual winner of the contract will be asked to supply services for 17 different types of events hosted by the EU agency.
They range from basic coffee breaks with just filter coffee, tea, and water to “VIP cocktail” gatherings.
On the menu for the lavish bash: “High-level sparkling wine, good quality Port wines, whisky, gin, vodka, white and red wine, several types of beer, fresh fruit juice, still and sparkling water, mixers, soft drinks, hot and cold canapés prepared from the finest and freshest products and, to the extent possible, using Portuguese cuisine and local products”.
The spirits must all be “recognised brands” and bubbly sourced from the Champagne region in north-east France, the dossier adds.
Dinners and lunches comprise a three-course “sit-down meal” once again “prepared from the finest and freshest products”.
More frugal entertaining options include buffets with a choice of sandwiches, salads and soups.
The caterers must ensure they provide “staff dressed appropriately for the event they are catering” as well as “flower bouquets for VIP tables” and varied decorations for seasonal events, such as the Christmas party.
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Another EU agency, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction, has also put out a tender for €150,000 to provide catering at its Lisbon base.
EU institutions are no strangers to spending big on parties and getaways for officials and guests.
The European Council spent more than €50,000 on its end of year event – known for its lavish dining options and all-night bash with an open bar for up to 3,000 staff.
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A recent audit of Brussels spending also shows former EU Council President Donald Tusk’s administration forked out over €400,000 on private jets in 2019.
The figures also revealed €6,600 was spent on Champagne, €52,000 on “shooting range rental”, €21,000 on “men’s dress shoes”, €19,000 on “tent rental” for an event and €63,000 on flowers.
Express.co.uk has contacted The EMSA for comment on its spending plans.
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