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On this occasion, High Representative Catherine Ashton said: "I am delighted that in four short months since I tabled the proposal, we have come so far. We can now move forward to build a modern, effective and distinctly European service for the 21st century. The reason is simple: Europe needs to shape up to defend better our interests and values in a world of growing complexity and fundamental power shifts."
The High Representative also highlighted the importance of moving rapidly forward with the amendments to the EU Staff and Financial Regulations, and an amending budget for 2010 to allow formally the Service to come into being by the first anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty.
Creation of the EEAS is one of the most significant changes introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December 2009. It is aimed at making the EU's external action more coherent and efficient, thereby increasing the EU's influence in the world. The EEAS will assist Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in fulfilling her mandate. It will work in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the member states and comprise officials from relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the Council and of the Commission, as well as staff seconded from the national diplomatic services of the member states.
For details, see key documents on: http://eeas.europa.eu/background/index_en.htm
The decision was taken at a meeting of the General Affairs Council.