EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about an EU diplomatic service was published by EurActiv on 7th July 2010.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) is to become official after the summer recess and start recruiting in autumn, it became clear after a key European Parliament committee gave its green light yesterday (6 July) to the EU’s diplomatic service.

Two weeks after the Madrid deal on the EEAS was struck (see ‘Background’), recommendations on its organisation and working methods, set out in a text by Elmar Brok (European People’s Party, Germany) were approved by the Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

Under the most optimistic scenario, the European Parliament could have given its final blessing to the EEAS at its current plenary session, which ends on Thursday. However, as leading MEPs explained, more time proved to be needed for the political groups to digest the Madrid compromise.

Parliament’s negotiators Elmar Brok, Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, Belgium) and Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, Italy) said that on the whole, Parliament’s requests had been fulfilled.

The Parliament’s services published a brief summing up the major decisions on the EEAS, where the MEPs had impacted upon the consultation process.

Substitution

MEPs who were reluctant to see civil servants (such as the executive secretary-general) deputise for Lady Ashton when briefing Parliament have won an undertaking that, where necessary, she will be replaced either by the EU commissioners for enlargement, development or humanitarian aid or by the foreign affairs minister of the country holding the EU presidency for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) issues.

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