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European Union: Establishment of the European External Action Service

(Aug. 16, 2010) On July 26, 2010, the Council of the European Union issued a decision authorizing the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and defining its organization and functions. (Council Decision of July 26, 2010 Establishing the Organisation and Functioning of the European External Action Service (2010/427/EU), 2010 OFFICIAL JOURNAL (L 201) 30 (Aug. 3, 2010), available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2010:201:0030
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.) The Council Decision was based on a proposal submitted by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. A major innovation of the Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force on December 1, 2009, EEAS is an autonomous body of the EU, separate from the Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council, and its headquarters will be located in Brussels. It also has the legal capacity to perform the necessary tasks assigned to it.

EEAS's mandate is to improve the European Union's public image, ensure that the EU's external actions become more efficient and effective, and increase the EU's influence worldwide. Its basic role is to support Ashton, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Council and is the Vice President of the European Commission, in fulfilling her duties. EEAS will also assist the President of the European Commission, the Commission itself, and the President of the European Council in the exercise of their duties related to external actions. EEAS, which is composed of officials from the European Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council and staff seconded from the diplomatic services of the EU Members, is expected to cooperate with the diplomatic services of the EU Members. (Id.)