The New EU Foreign Policy Architecture – Reviewing the First Two Years of the EEAS

The functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS) has been a highly
controversial topic since its establishment over two years ago. Emerging from
nearly a decade of delays and ‘turf wars’, the EEAS had to quickly construct a
relationship with the diplomatic services of the EU member states, the European
Commission and the European Parliament as well as transform the Commission’s
Delegations into Union Delegations. Inter-institutional linkages have not always
functioned smoothly and tensions have run high at times. Insiders but especially
outsiders have often struggled to understand how the new EU foreign policy
machinery functions. In the midst of forming its own distinctive identity among the EU
institutions and vis-à-vis the EU member states, the EEAS is facing major review this
year and a revision of its mandate in 2014.

This CEPS study examines two interrelated topics: 1) the way in which the EEAS has
functioned in the EU institutional architecture in its first two years of existence and 2)
the improvements that could be made through the 2013 review and the 2014 revision of
its mandate. This study contributes to the current debate through an in-depth analysis
of the EEAS’ relations with the EU member states, the European Commission, the
European Parliament and its delegations.

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