Bulgaria Hopes for Fair Representation in EU External Action Service

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | July 26, 2010, Monday // 18:41
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Hopes for Fair Representation in EU External Action Service EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton (C) greets Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos (R) during a General Affairs Council meeting at the European Council, in Brussels, 26 July 2010. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The EU has given the start to the setting up its first diplomatic corps, the European External Action Service, which is supposed to provide representation for the 500-million bloc on the global stage.

On Monday, the project for the EEAS got the green light at a meeting of the EU General Affairs Council which consists of the foreign ministers of the EU member states.

This was made possible after the European Commission and the European Parliament also approved the initiative for the new structure, which is provided for the Lisbon Treaty, and will be under the responsibility of the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Police, Catherine Ashton.

With Monday’s approval, the next step in the establishment of the External Action Service will be a review by the European Parliament of the budget and staff regulations pertaining to the new structure. If the process goes smoothly, the EEAS may be up and running in December 2010 at the earliest.

After the meeting of the General Affairs Council, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov has expressed hopes for a fair representation of all member states in the staff of the new service.

“The proportional representation of the EU member states must not suffer from the financial constraints introduced as a result of the crisis,” declared Mladenov in a statement while also pointing out that the national diplomatic corps of each member state must have access to the analyses and forecasts drafted by the staff of the EEAS.

EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has underscored the fact that the Union institutions will be seeking the most efficient way to put together the External Action Service.

She also said that the 10 top ranking positions in the new structure – the Secretary-General, two deputy secretaries-general, an administrative secretary, and six directors-general – are open for applicants from all member states.

The entire corps of the EEAS is planned to have a staff of 5 000-7 000. These will be drawn from the Commission and Council and from the member states' diplomatic services.

Bulgaria hopes to have 15 representatives in the initial staff of the European External Action Service which will be selected with a competition, explained Vesele Cherneva, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson on Sunday.

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Tags: Vesela Cherneva, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign miniser, External Action Service, EEAS, Catherine Ashton

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