Strong and Effective European External Action Service

As adopted by the Federal Committee in Athens, Greece 2013

Understanding the unprecedented and arduous task of the EEAS, which is still taking shape and slowly acquiring an ‘esprit de corps’ since its composition after the Lisbon Treaty,

Deploring the fact that the EEAS’ effectiveness is hampered by lengthy procedures before it can present a clear, substantial and action-oriented stance on events in an ever-faster moving world,

Pointing out that Eurobarometer reports over the last decade have confirmed that the significant majority of the EU citizens want the EU to play a greater role in foreign policy and international relations;

Noting that it is ineffective to work using an arbitrary separation between intra-EU and extra- EU policies on global stability and security in a broad sense;

Arguing that the EEAS has an equally important stake in monitoring and affecting global financial and economic stability as the DGs in the Commission and the bodies of the Council of the European Union, in particular ECOFIN;

Observing the lack of vetoing powers and power of initiative of the European Parliament as the only EU citizens’ directly elected body influencing the EEAS;

Recalling the Council decision 11665/1/10 REV 1 of 20 July 2010 establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service and European Council Decision 02/12/2009.

Considering all the above, JEF Europe wants:

  • the EEAS to continue to engage in building and strengthening lasting relations with other actors elsewhere in the world – giving incentives to target mutual trade and financial gains.

  • to leverage pragmatic and more efficient policies through strategic partnerships, while practicing EU values in as many areas as possible.

  • the European Parliament to hear all heads of EU delegations and all special EU representatives on matters of European foreign affairs and security policy on a regular basis or in the event of need.

  • the EEAS to acquire additional financial means to further develop its foresight capabilities in order to support conflict prevention initiatives and enabling the EEAS to gather a maximum of intelligence to give strategic guidance on financial and economic stability.

  • the EEAS to continually ensure - without casting doubts on the quality of national diplomats- that national diplomats in the EEAS shall be fully independent from their national governments the office of the High Representative to be transformed into the office of Minister for Foreign Affairs of the European Union. The office, however, is to be transformed as a part of a larger change in the role of the Commission becoming a Government of the European Union. The government should be accountable to the European Parliament in a parliamentarian system of governance. This change is to be done according to federalist principles of democracy, subsidiarity and division of powers. Foreign policy making processes within the EEAS shall involve experts and academia as advisory bodies.

  • the EEAS to proceed with the development of strong and integrated crisis management and peace building and keeping structures that shall ensure effective civilian-military cooperation and bring together existing Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and Commission instruments and expertise to forge a comprehensive EU approach.

  • In order to continue the key role of the EEAS to strengthen crisis management, peace building, and civilian-military cooperation, a comprehensive EU approach must be forged. We insist that the European Parliament urges the Commission to make Treaty and further legal amendments enabling full capacity of EEAS core units. In particular to ensure an optimal cooperation within the EEAS.

  • the European Commission to endorse necessary changes to the existing legal framework and institutional relationships among the European parliament and national legislative bodies. Those changes should make the decision-making process and arguments for the EU's involvement abroad clear and understandable for the European citizens.

  • to ensure that the selection and appointment of EEAS diplomatic corps will not be determined by unfair nor opaque procedures, but by an impartial and controlled assessment of required competencies, general conduct and merits. EEAS diplomatic staff should reflect a clear commitment to European interests and objectives, disavowing any action deliberately intended to favor any specific Member State.

  • the national governments and authorities to make full use of the pooling capacity provided by the EEAS and make rational savings to their own diplomatic services. Considering the budgetary constraints and austerity pressures in Europe, the expenses incurred by excess offices, material and means for national diplomatic services are a disproportionate use of taxpayer money. As such, 'Europeanization' of national diplomatic services becomes a tangible benefit of further integration

  • the EEAS to lead towards further political integration of foreign, security and defence policies, building trust among European and national actors, fostering the EU’s foreign policy credibility and finally integrating the EEAS into the existing structures of the European Commission