Strengthening the EU as a global actor: the EEAS and the Europeanisation of national diplomacies

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Series Details EGS 6 2013
Publication Date 27/05/2013
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The European Global Strategy (EGS) is focuses on the European External Action Service, aiming to describe and analyse some of the most important issues regarding one of the main instruments through which the EU can exercise its global leadership.

Vivien Pertusot considers that France is in favour of increasing the EU’s role as a global player, but without losing national sovereignty. Almut Möller and Julian Rappold highlight that although Germany was heavily involved in preparing the Lisbon Treaty, which saved
part of the project for a European Constitution, it has not shown the same interest in implementing the EEAS. Edward Burke concludes that, jealous of its national sovereignty
in anything coming from Brussels, the UK does not want the creation of EEAS to impinge in any way on its prerogative of developing its own foreign policy. The Spanish analysis
highlights that the EEAS represents an opportunity for Spanish diplomacy at a very critical moment in economic and financial terms. Spain also needs to rethink the basis and instruments of its foreign policy, in which the EEAS can play an important role. Louise Van Schaik presents the Netherlands as one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the EEAS, although some reluctance has surfaced on account of the EEAS budget at a time of economic austerity. From a Portuguese perspective, the impact of the economic crisis has meant that neither European foreign policy in general nor the EEAS in particular have been a priority consideration. Maria João Seabra argues that Portugal’s priority now is to pursue economic diplomacy in order to restore its external credibility. Romania has emerged as
one of the most pro-European member states and is therefore an active supporter of the EEAS and of the role of the HR/VP. According to Paul Ivan, Romania considers the
EEAS an opportunity for both the EU as a whole and for itself: it can multiply its foreign policy interests and priorities and take advantage of the EEAS as a good training ground for its diplomats. The chapter on Sweden emphasises the EU-first approach developed by Swedish diplomacy since the country entered the EU. Fredrik Landal points out that Sweden supports the EEAS as an essential element for the EU to achieve a strong position in the world. Elina Viilup stresses that the EEAS has been supported by Estonia since its inception. The Estonian position is both supportive and pragmatic and Estonian diplomats expect the EEAS to provide added value in specific issues, such as consular services.

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