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Brussels, 8 July 2010

EEAS decision – main elements

The “Council decision establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service” is provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon and is necessary in order to get the EEAS into being. It has to be adopted unanimously by the Member States, the Commission has to agree to it and the European Parliament has to be consulted.

1. The EEAS decision establishes the nature and scope of the future Service

  • The main aim is to establish an effective and coherent service by the pooling of much of the existing resources in the field of external relations under the authority of the HR. These resources are the relevant staff from the Council Secretariat and the Commission and the staff coming from the Member States diplomatic services. Member States diplomats will in the medium term constitute one third of the total EEAS staff

  • The EEAS will support the High Representative in the various tasks conferred to her by the treaty and will be autonomous from the Commission and the Council.

  • The EEAS will also assist the President of the European Council and the Commission and its President in their functions in the area of external relations. It will cooperate with Member States and other institutions, especially the European Parliament, to whose Members it will also provide logistical support in third countries.

2. The decision lines out the basic elements of the structure of the EEAS

As any diplomatic service, the EEAS will consist of a central administration and EU delegations in third countries and at international organisations.

  • Central administration: The EEAS will be managed by a team consisting of an executive Secretary General, two deputies - and a senior Director General for budget and administration. Furthermore, the EEAS will consist of a number of geographic directorates general covering all regions of the world, as well as multilateral and thematic departments, a policy planning department, a legal department and departments for interinstitutional relations, information and public diplomacy. The civil and military crisis management structures will be placed under the direct authority of the High Representative and their special status will be respected, while ensuring full coordination with the other EEAS structures. The High Representative will ensure that the relevant units from the Commission transferred to the EEAS which deal with planning and programming of crisis response, conflict prevention and peace building, and the CSDP structures, work in close cooperation and synergy, both under her direct responsibility and authority within the appropriate structure.

  • EU delegations: They will be an integral part of the EEAS (although not everybody working in a delegation will be part of the EEAS, e.g. Commission staff dealing with management of aid or trade issues). The Heads of Delegations will have authority over all staff. Delegations can receive instructions from the Commission. EU delegations will take up tasks previously carried out by the former rotating Presidency (coordination of EU positions and representation of the EU in third countries). In order to do so efficiently, they will work in close cooperation with the diplomatic missions of Member States.

3. The staff of the EEAS

  • Who makes up the service? According to the treaty, officials from the European Commission and the Council Secretariat as well as national diplomats constitute the “treaty sources” the EEAS can draw from. After July 2013, also officials from other EU institutions (like the EP) can apply for EEAS jobs. Member States’ diplomats will make up at least one third of the EEAS staff. Although the Service will initially be composed of existing staff – e.g. predominantly Commission and Council officials - this 1/3 share should be reached by 2013. At least 60 % will be permanent staff of the EEAS.

  • How will the posts be published? Posts will be published individually and selection will take place according to rigorous criteria.

  • How will geographical balance be respected? There are several provisions foreseen in the EEAS legal decision which aim to ensure geographical balance of staff, in accordance with Article 27 of the Staff Regulation which provides for geographical balance in the recruitment procedure. In addition, the EEAS administration will monitor on a permanent basis the development of the geographical distribution of posts in the Service. Furthermore, the High Representative will each year present a report to the Council on the occupation of posts in the EEAS. The review of the EEAS foreseen in 2013 will also cover this issue, including, as appropriate, and if needed measures to correct possible imbalances.

4. The budget for the EEAS

  • As the EEAS does not yet exist, it does not have its own budget. The relevant existing budget lines from Commission and Council Secretariat will be transferred to the EEAS, once it has been established. The basic principle is that the set-up of the EEAS should be lean, efficient and aim towards budget neutrality. The first real budget for the EEAS - covering 2011 – will come in the second semester of 2010. For 2010 an amending budget covering the period of October to December for the first initial needs of the EEAS is currently under discussion. The proposal: approximately 9.5 million euros and 100 additional staff (mainly to reinforce Delegations).

5. The EEAS and Development Policy

  • The EEAS will support and strengthen EU development policy, while also allowing to improve the overall coherence of the EU’s external action. Political engagement and development efforts are not alternatives, but are complementary. The EU can only have an impact if it is consistent in combining all instruments at its disposal, from development projects to crisis management missions.

  • The EEAS will have a set of single geographic desks, which bring together the analytical capacity, strategic vision and coordination clout necessary to present coherent plans of engagement with our partners around the world.

  • Proposals under the European Development Fund and the Development Cooperation Instrument, including those for changes in the basic regulations and the relevant programming documents shall be prepared jointly by the relevant services in the EEAS and in the Commission under the responsibility of Commissioner for Development. They will then be jointly submitted to the College by the High Representative and the Development Commissioner, and then follow the normal procedures in the Council and the European Parliament. Similar arrangements will be made for cooperation with neighbourhood countries. A continual operation will guarantee that the political expertise provided by the EEAS will be optimally combined with the development expertise of the Commission. The solution is also clear cut on the budgetary side: the Commission will remain responsible for the implementation of the operational expenditure, while the EEAS has full autonomy over its administrative expenditure with the High Representative fully accountable in budgetary terms.

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