Analysis of Development Co-operation
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MEPs to set up anti-intergovernmentalism group -

EUobserver, 13.9.10. Alarmed at what they see as a rise in the European Union of 'intergovernmentalism', Guy Verhofstadt, the head of the liberal group in the parliament, and his Green counterpart, Daniel Cohn-Bendit are mounting a counter-offensive to promote the importance of the EU and its institutions. The fledgling group will be known as the Spinelli group, after the Italian political thinker Altiero Spinelli and one of the "founding fathers" of the EU.

Ashton to name ambassadors this week -

The European Voice, 13.9.10. Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, plans to announce around 30 appointments to EU delegations around the world later this week, she said after an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on Saturday (11 September).

EU ponders creation of new diplomatic breed. By Andrew Rettman - EUobserver, 4.6.10.  The phrase "EU diplomat says" regularly pops up in articles on EU foreign policy. But with the EU poised to launch its European External Action Service in the coming months, the question of what precisely is an EU diplomat is in the air in Brussels.

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Article 18 PDF Print E-mail
1. The European Council, acting by a qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission, shall appoint the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The European Council may end his term of office by the same procedure.

2. The High Representative shall conduct the Union's common foreign and security policy. He shall contribute by his proposals to the development of that policy, which he shall carry out as mandated by the Council. The same shall apply to the common security and defence policy.

3. The High Representative shall preside over the Foreign Affairs Council.

4. The High Representative shall be one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission. He shall ensure the consistency of the Union's external action. He shall be responsible within the Commission for responsibilities incumbent on it in external relations and for coordinating other aspects of the Union's external action. In exercising these responsibilities within the Commission, and only for these responsibilities, the High Representative shall be bound by Commission procedures to the extent that this is consistent with paragraphs 2 and 3.


  • The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is "double-hatted":
    • Council - responsible for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
    • Commission - responsible for coordinating the Commission's external actions, including external trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
  • The High Representative will chair the Foreign Affairs Council.
  • The High Representative is responsible for ensuring the consistency of the EU's external actions as a whole. The definition of consistency was debated extensively during the 2004 intergovernmental conference. Certain EU Member States wanted the High Representative to be responsible for ensuring the 'consistency of external relations with the CFSP'. This approach would have subordinated the Commission's external policies (external trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid) to the CFSP and to the Councill. It was eventually rejected.


  • The High Representative is responsible for the CFSP and the CSDP within the Council but not for all of the Commission's extenal competences. (S)he is only responsible for ensuring that all of the EU's external policies are consistent and coordinated. The policy areas of external trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid continue to be defined and implemented separately by other members of the Commission.
  • The final wording of the fourth paragraph of Article 18: 'consistency of the Union's external action', preserves the integrity of the Commission's external policies.
  • Article 18(4) also confirms the status of development cooperation and humanitarian aid as independent policies.



  • This article draws on Article 26 TEU