The European Commission proposed a draft EU budget for 2016 of €143.5 billion euros on Wednesday (27 May). According to the EU executive, the budget aims to 'support the recovery of the European economy”. The funds will be used to create jobs and growth, to deal with migration more effectively, and to strengthen the EU's role as a global player.
When Federica Mogherini moves into her new office in the European Commission, she will find a full diary on her desk. During her hearing at the European Parliament in the beginning of October, she could already get a first glimpse of her agenda as EU foreign policy chief, write Niklas Helwig and Carolin Rüger.
Well-intentioned, but insufficient. In a report published Tuesday (23 September), the European Court of Auditors was highly critical of the European Commission's €1.23 billion contribution to relief efforts, following the March 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which left 230,000 dead, 300,00 injured, and 1.3 million homeless in Port-au-Prince alone.
The choice of the next high representative for foreign policy is crucial, given the threats to the EU's values and interests coming from armed conflict, dysfunctional democracy, and state failure, writes Michael Leigh.
A new report by the European Court of Auditors examining the European External Action Service has found that the institution has been “inadequately prepared”, lacks resources and its tasks are “vaguely defined”.
If the real added value of the EU as a global actor is in developing holistic approaches to international affairs which benefit from a very broad range of tools, the people involved need to be able to work together well, write Rosa Balfour and Kristi Rak.
The Lisbon Treaty introduced a major institutional innovation in the field of external relations by creating a common diplomatic service, the European External Action Service (EEAS). During the past 20 months this service has progressively been set up. With some 3,000 officials and an annual budget of around €500 million, it is still small but unique in its talents and language skills.
The United States and at least seven other Western countries expelled Syrian diplomats from their capitals yesterday (29 May) in a coordinated action against President Bashar al-Assad's government over the killing of more than 100 civilians in a Syrian town. An EU-wide expulsion, however, has not been decided.
In the case of Syria, European policymakers should draw lessons from the last Libyan intervention and aim at a strong collective security framework under the aegis of the EU, writes Giles Merritt from Security & Defence Agenda.
As the Syrian bloodshed continues, the European Union finds itself once again trapped behind mild rhetoric and condemnation, writes Vivien Pertusot from the French institute of international relations (Ifri).
MEPs need to keep sight of the bigger picture regarding the new sets of regulations that European Commission is releasing on 7 December on EU external action and development strategy, warn experts from European Think-Tanks Group, in order to preserve the major role that EU holds in the field of international development.
A growing number of international institutions and agreements are attempting to tackle the world's major challenges: economic, environmental or security. What is the EU's role in this emerging world order?
The newly-formed European External Action Service is at risk of falling short of its promises if negotiations on the EU budget post-2013 do not manage to increase the European Union’s financial means, said MEPs yesterday (10 February)..
The European External Action Service (EEAS) can provide a more coherent, visible and effective EU foreign policy but faces problems such as low morale among personnel, friction with the European Commission and disputes over EU representation in international organisations, writes Graham Avery, senior advisor at the European Policy Centre (EPC).
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has completed the appointments for 28 top officials at the European External Action Service, with only two women appearing on the list, according to a document seen by EurActiv.
The European External Action Service is "one of the most important institutional reforms provided for by the Treaty of Lisbon" and should bring together "fragmented EU structures" to ensure that Europe speaks more often with one voice, writes German Green MEP Franziska Brantner in an exclusive commentary for EurActiv.
EU finance ministers failed to reach a compromise with the European Parliament over the 2011 budget yesterday night (11 November). If they fail to find a mutually acceptable solution by Monday, the 2010 budget will roll over to 2011, raising questions as to how the European Union will finance ambitious new projects such as the European External Action Service.
France's Pierre Vimont and Ireland's David O'Sullivan were appointed yesterday (25 October) to take on the "logistics" of building Europe's first foreign action service by 1 December. Remaining work to be done after that date will only be of minor importance, experts told EurActiv.
In the presence of a smiling Catherine Ashton, the European Parliament yesterday (20 October) approved by an overwhelming majority the last three legislative texts required to launch the European External Action Service (EEAS) on 1 December 2010, the day of the first anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty.