Article 27

1. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who shall chair the Foreign Affairs Council, shall contribute through his proposals towards the preparation of the common foreign and security policy and shall ensure implementation of the decisions adopted by the European Council and the Council.

2. The High Representative shall represent the Union for matters relating to the common foreign and security policy. He shall conduct political dialogue with third parties on the Union's behalf and shall express the Union's position in international organisations and at international conferences.

3. In fulfilling his mandate, the High Representative shall be assisted by a European External Action Service. This service shall work in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the Member States and shall comprise officials from relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the Council and of the Commission as well as staff seconded from national diplomatic services of the Member States. The organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service shall be established by a decision of the Council. The Council shall act on a proposal from the High Representative after consulting the European Parliament and after obtaining the consent of the Commission.

Background

  • This article introduces the European External Action Service (EEAS).
  • The EEAS will assist the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs. It will cooperation with EU Member States' own diplomatic services and consist of officials from the Commission, the Council secretariat and those diplomatic services.

Comments

  • The EEAS will form a central part of the new institutional architecture of the EU's external policies. Assuming that the EEAS may incorporate all elements of the EU's external actions, its structure will be crucial to ensuring future political space for development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The parts of the Commission which are currently responsible for these policy areas (i.e. the Directorate-General for Development (DG DEV), the European Community Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO) and the EuropeAid Cooperation Office (AIDCO) could all be absorbed into the EEAS if the 2003 European Security Strategy is to be followed. This could affect the division of powers between the different institutions.
  • There is a strong case against the integration of all of the EU's external policies under the remit of the EEAS as the provisions on development cooperation and humanitarian aid set out these two policy areas as equal to yet independent from the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The separation which is made in the Treaties should in turn be reflected within the institutional structure of the European Commission. This can only be achieved if development cooperation remains separate from the CFSP in any future administrative arrangements.

Replaces

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