The European External Action Service (EEAS), the New Kid on the Block
In contrast to many of the other institutions discussed in this volume, the creation of a European-level foreign policy administration is of a more recent nature. Coordination of member states foreign policy only emerged from the 1970s onwards, in the form of the so-called European Political Cooperation (EPC). Being developed outside the Treaty framework, it was initially steered entirely from the national capitals. The exchange of views and formulation of joint declarations was coordinated by the rotating presidency with a key role for the national ministries of foreign affairs. As the member states tried to move beyond a merely declaratory foreign policy, the need for more permanent bodies increased. The establishment in 1987 of a small foreign policy unit in the Council General Secretariat was the beginning of a slow but ever-increasing Brusselization of the European foreign policy machinery (Allen, 1998). The last but most substantial step in this long and incremental process has been the creation of a European External Action Service (EEAS) in December 2010.
KeywordsMember State Foreign Policy Foreign Affair European Parliament Lisbon Treaty
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