Foreign Policy Blogs

Update not to miss: EEAS 2.5

The forthcoming review of the EEAS will provide an opportunity to address some remaining challenges.

The forthcoming review of the EEAS will provide an opportunity to address some remaining challenges.

For a targeted group of people the hottest moment of the upcoming summer won’t be at the beach in Ibiza. As Art. 13 of Council Decision 2010/427/EU establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS) calls upon the High Representative (HR) to provide a review of the EEAS by mid-2013, the eyes of the stakeholders engaged in the EU Foreign and Security policy will be turned on the few pages HR Ashton is about to present.

The report known as ‘the EEAS Review’ will be a result from a methodical consultation involving all member states, Commission services, the Council General Secretariat, the European Parliament, think tanks, NGOs and civil society organisations. A key moment in the process will be Gymnich meeting in Dublin next month.

The provisions of the Council Decision 2010/427/EU leave the doors open for a revision of the Decision itself by the beginning of 2014. Providing that there will be elections for a new European Parliament and a new European Commission next year, it is unlikely general changes to take place.

However, no matter how big or small the review will be, few strategic changes should take place so to step up the process of moving towards a common foreign and security policy.

  •  Moving the European Neighbourhood Policy and development programming to the EEAS might look like the easiest solution but won’t address the main challenges. More coherence should be achieved in the work between EEAS and the internal EU policies that have an important external dimension.
  • Heavy administrative burden on EU Heads of Delegations as well as the split between EEAS and Commission staff in EU delegations should be overcome. More flexibility and cooperation must be seek in the internal organisation e.g. between EEAS headquarters and EU Delegations and the diplomatic service of Member States.
  • Cooperation with Member States Diplomacies should be introduced in all possible aspects: administrative capacity, co-location, information exchange and representation in multilateral institutions.
  • The old paradigm of ‘speaking with one voice’ should be abolished. Member States need to learn to pass one message through different channels.

 

 

 

 

Author

Hristiana Grozdanova
Hristiana Grozdanova

Hristiana Grozdanova is EU foreign policy adviser. She also worked for the Prime Minister’s Office in Bulgaria as an expert responsible for monitoring the decision-making process and implementation of EU law in the internal market. She has also worked in the Cabinet of the EU commissioner for consumer protection. Hristiana is the author of numerous articles and brochures on EU citizens’ rights and instruments for their protection. For her work solving the problems caused by the misapplication of EU law, she was awarded with the title of “SOLVIT Goodwill Ambassador.”
She is a member of the NATO Young Atlanticist Working Group at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, a program bringing together 90 top emerging global leaders in foreign and security policy.
All opinions in this blog are personal.

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