The Organisation and Functioning of the European External Action Service : Achievements, Challenges and Opportunities

18-02-2013

The organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS) has met both challenges and opportunities for improvement. These issues are explored from an internal and external perspective, covering both the EEAS at Headquarters in Brussels and the bilateral and multilateral Union Delegations. The new institutional system has created opportunities and working mechanisms that aim to foster coherence, effectiveness and continuity in EU external action. There are examples that show positive developments, but also challenges. The EEAS should utilise its ‘coherence mandate’ towards becoming the prime diplomatic entrepreneur in EU external action by fostering reciprocal information sharing, cooperation and coordination between national and EU levels, shaping and proposing novel policy ideas, and promoting coherent external action across all policy domains. Three key steps are needed to attain this objective: (i) a ‘new deal’ between the Commission and the EEAS; (ii) stronger support from the Member States to the EEAS; and (iii) abandoning budget neutrality in favour of a more realistic focus on budgetary efficiency.

The organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS) has met both challenges and opportunities for improvement. These issues are explored from an internal and external perspective, covering both the EEAS at Headquarters in Brussels and the bilateral and multilateral Union Delegations. The new institutional system has created opportunities and working mechanisms that aim to foster coherence, effectiveness and continuity in EU external action. There are examples that show positive developments, but also challenges. The EEAS should utilise its ‘coherence mandate’ towards becoming the prime diplomatic entrepreneur in EU external action by fostering reciprocal information sharing, cooperation and coordination between national and EU levels, shaping and proposing novel policy ideas, and promoting coherent external action across all policy domains. Three key steps are needed to attain this objective: (i) a ‘new deal’ between the Commission and the EEAS; (ii) stronger support from the Member States to the EEAS; and (iii) abandoning budget neutrality in favour of a more realistic focus on budgetary efficiency.

Údar seachtarach

Jan WOUTERS (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies - Institute for International Law, University of Leuven, Belgium) , Geert DE BAERE (Institute for European Law and Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium) , Bart VAN VOOREN (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) , Kolja RAUBE (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, and Centre for European Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium) , Jed ODERMATT (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium) , Thomas RAMOPOULOS (Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, University of Leuven, Belgium) , Tina VAN DEN SANDEN (Institute for European Law, University of Leuven, Belgium) and Yole TANGHE (Institute for European Law, University of Leuven, Belgium)