European External Action Service: The Role of New EU Diplomats

European Commission Representation in Czech Republic
When: Jun 02nd, 2011 16-17.30
Where: European House, Prague, Czech Republic

Event overview

On January 1, 2011, the long anticipated European External Action Service (EEAS) became operational. Its purpose is to make the European Union’s foreign policy more coherent and integrated, thus strengthening the role of the EU on the global level. The EEAS is responsible for more than 130 EU delegations worldwide.

The new service merges the tasks and personnel of the EU institutions that have hitherto been involved in the formulation and conduct of EU external policy – specific DGs of the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Council. Representatives of national foreign affairs ministries are also to complement the EEAS staff.

The EEAS can make recommendations on defense and security policy, but final decisions are in the hands of the Council, i.e. of the 27 EU governments. The service´s first head is Catherine Ashton (since 2009), who will serve as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

Critics claim the EEAS only creates a new layer of EU bureaucracy, its position within the existing EU structures is not clearly defined, or that its real influence on EU foreign policy will be limited.

Participants of the panel debate discussed the following questions: Is the EEAS a full-fledged European "ministry of foreign affairs"? What is the key mission of the new service? What is the position of the EEAS towards the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament? What will be the division of tasks between the EEAS and national diplomacies? What is the Czech presence in the EEAS structures? How is the EEAS viewed/received by the international community?


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Keynote speakers

Adam Černý

Moderator, Journalist, Hospodářské noviny, Czech Republic

David Nichols

Jan Michal

Jan Šnaidauf

Jaroslav Kurfürst

Piotr Maciej Kaczyński

Conference Materials

About the Project

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Call for papers & Registrations Deadlines

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