Website: European External Action Service

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Publication Date 2014
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The Treaty of Lisbon which came into force in December 2009 contained two important institutional innovations that impacted on EU external action, it created:

+ A President of the European Council (renewable two and a half year term)
+ A High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (five year term)

In November 2009, the European Council appointed Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In this capacity she chaired the Foreign Affairs Council. She was also a Vice-President of the European Commission and ensures consistency and coordination of EU external action. Her term of office comes to an end in 2014.

The High Representative is assisted by the European External Action Service (EEAS). EEAS staff come from the European Commission, the General Secretariat of the Council and the Diplomatic Services of EU Member States.

A review of the first years of the EEAS took place in 2012-13 and the EU Member States adopted Council Conclusions on the EEAS Review in December 2013.

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Related Links
PressEurop: Organisation of the new European Diplomatic Service
Wikipedia: European External Action Service
BBC News, 7.12.10: Q&A: EU External Action Service
EurActiv: Links Dossier, 2010: The EU's new diplomatic service
European Movement: Senior European Experts Briefing Notes: The EU’s External Action Service, April 2011
PressEurop: Briefings: The new European diplomacy
ESO: Background information: Council Conclusions on the EEAS Review. General Affairs Council, Brussels, 17 December 2013
ESO: Background information: EU chided over diplomatic service run by Baroness Ashton
ESO: Background information: Ashton drops big ideas on EU foreign service
ESO: Background information: Find all further information sources on the EEAS in ESO
ESO: Background information: European External Action Service

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