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European External Action Service

The European External Action Service (EEAS) supports the European Union (EU) in its relations with the rest of the world. Following the institutional reforms of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has a stronger capacity for external action, which is more coherent and better coordinated.


Council Decision 2010/427/EU of 26 July 2010 establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service.


The European External Action Service (EEAS) is a body established by the Lisbon Treaty to implement the external policy of the European Union (EU).

The EEAS comes under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. It assists the High Representative in executing their mandates, as regards:

  • conducting the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP);
  • the Presidency of the European Foreign Affairs Council;
  • the Vice-Presidency of the Commission in the field of external relations.

The EEAS also assists the General Secretariat of the Council, the Commission and the diplomatic services of the Member States, in order to ensure the coherency of European external action.

Finally, the EEAS supports the Commission in preparing and implementing programmes and financial instruments relating to EU external action.

Central administration

The headquarters of the EEAS is in Brussels. It is managed by an Executive Secretary-General operating under the authority of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The central administration of the EEAS is organised in directorates-general dealing with:

  • thematic and geographic areas of action, covering all countries and all global regions;
  • administrative management, the security of information and communication systems, budget management and human resources;
  • crisis management and planning, the European Union Military Staff and the European Union Situation Centre (SITCEN) to conduct the CFSP.

A network of delegations

The EEAS is also made up of the EU delegations to third countries and different international organisations. Each of them is directed by a Head of Delegation, under the authority of the High Representative and of the EEAS. The Head of Delegation represents the EU in the country concerned.

The delegations cooperate and share information with the diplomatic services of the Member States of the EU.

The Executive Secretary-General of the EEAS is responsible for the financial and administrative evaluation of each delegation.

Last updated: 18.10.2010

See also

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