The EU’s external relations

The European Union’s action on the international scene is guided by the principles that inspired its own creation, development and enlargement, and which are also embedded in the United Nations Charter and international law. Promotion of human rights and democracy is a key aspect. The Union also highlights its strategic interests and objectives through its international action. It will continue to broaden and enhance its political and trade relations with other countries and regions of the world, including by holding regular summits with its strategic partners such as the United States, Japan, Canada, Russia, India and China. It also supports development, cooperation and political dialogue with countries in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, eastern Europe, central Asia and the western Balkans. The European External Action Service (EEAS) entered on the scene with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and will henceforth play a key role in these areas. The EEAS is headed by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission and its personnel includes Member State diplomats.