Do you know what the European External Action Service (EEAS) is? No? That’s because your English.
Let me take a second to explain what the EEAS is. The EEAS was created to assist the High Representative of the [European] Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – Cathy Ashton. In this capacity, Ashton chairs the Foreign Affairs Council, is the vice-president of the European Commission and ensures that all the member states are acting cohesively in their Foreign Policy. In other words, she is pretty important and the work of the EEAS is key to supporting her and enabling it all to happen. There is a continuous battling of position between the Member States to ensure they have well placed supporters throughout the organisation. It would appear the French (for once) have won a battle.
This last week saw 29 new appointments made to the EEAS – 9 of which were French, 2 British, 2 Italian, 2 Danish etc. You can spot the issue here. Although I am not that fussed, it does make me chuckle that no one in the UK seemed to pick up on the fact that these appointments took place let alone comment on how they might affect our foreign policy. Through recent appointments
we now have French heads of delegation to Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Fiji, Burkina Faso and Kazakhstan.
It’s time for the UK (the residents included) to wake up and smell the bacon. The EU post Lisbon is the only player in town when it comes to Foreign Policy. Yes national policy (especially of the big three UK, Germany and France) will guide the EU’s foreign policy but unless we start to act seriously within the EU we will lose strategic ground to other member states who have competing objectives. We should be celebrating that we have a Brit at the top of the EU, instead this government spends their time ignoring her and attempting to undermine her. Like it or not Hague, she is more powerful than you!
Am I fussed about 9 more French diplomats? Not really. Would the eurosceptic right be up in arms if they were not too blinded to even notice what was happening? Probably.