Europe in the World

The European External Action Service at work - How to improve EU foreign policy

25 January 2012
Alyson Bailes (External authors), Rosa Balfour (Senior Adviser to EPC on Europe in the World) and Megan Kenna (External authors)

The problems that the European External Action Service (EEAS) has encountered during its first year have obscured its potential to improve the EU’s foreign and security policy. The new Service has huge potential to contribute to building a new strategic culture, to improve coordination among the EU institutions and member states, and to design holistic policies to respond to longstanding challenges to EU foreign policy. This EPC Issue Paper by Rosa Balfour with Alyson Bailes and Megan Kenna – the result of a year-long task force series – takes an innovative approach by looking at the difference the EEAS can make in a number of cross-cutting external policy fields: crisis management and peace-building, human rights, non-proliferation, the fight against terrorism, energy and international mobility. The paper argues that the EEAS needs to prove its added value and champion the EU’s main asset: the ability to develop policies that link security with economics, internal affairs with external policies, and values and principles with interests. The paper identifies a number of areas through which the Service can strengthen EU foreign policy, such as by developing a strategy for EU Delegations and building networks of foreign policymakers, in order to become a policy entrepreneur for a renewed EU global role.

The European External Action Service at work - How to improve EU foreign policy

In this programme


Programme Team

Head of Europe in the World programme and Senior Fellow

Giovanni Grevi

Researcher in EU energy and climate policy, Institute of European Studies, Free University of Brussels

Marco Giuli

Senior Policy Analysts

Paul Ivan
Amanda Paul

Junior Policy Analyst

Ivano di Carlo