Embargo: Immediate Wednesday 22 November 2006

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The House of Lords European Union Committee has today welcomed moves by the EU to improve cooperation and coherence in EU foreign policy in order to create a unified EU global presence.

The Committee welcomes the EU Commission's attempts to improve the coherence of the EU's external relations by strengthening the cooperation between the Presidency, the High Representative and council secretariat, the Commission and Member States. The Committee concludes that these measures can be taken despite the failure to ratify the Constitutional Treaty.

The Committee states that the streamlining of the working relationships between the institutions of the EU and its Member States will lead to more effective EU action throughout the world. This is vital as the EU is an increasingly important contributor to global development and security.

Commenting Lord Bowness, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Sub-Committee, said:

"We are pleased to see that the EU putting forward concrete proposals to improve the way it relates to the wider world.

"The Common Foreign and Security Policy has grown in importance in recent years and the EU has increasingly found itself having to take a position on events outside its borders from trade with China to Iran's nuclear programme. These proposals should ensure that the EU's approach to external policy-making is far more effective.

"It is vital the EU institutions work together when faced with external challenges. This is crucial if the EU is to develop and effective foreign and security policy and be a major force in world politics."

Notes to Editors

1. The Report is published by The Stationery Office: Europe in the World, House of Lords European Union Committee (Sub-Committee C), 48th Report of 2005/06, HL Paper 268.

2. The Report will be available shortly after publication at: