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Lords launch new inquiry into EU External Action Service

The House of Lords European Union Sub-Committee for External Affairs has launched a new inquiry into the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The EEAS was set-up following the Lisbon Treaty to assist the EU High Representative/Vice-President of the  Commission in performing her duties. This includes representing the EU on matters relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy, orchestrating political dialogue on behalf of the EU with third parties and representing the EU in international organisations.

The Lords EU Sub-Committee will launch its  inquiry this Thursday by taking evidence from Hugo Shorter, Head of Europe Directorate at the Foreign Office and Graham Avery who as Director for Strategy, Planning & Analysis in the European Commission Directorate General for External Relations between 2003-2006 was responsible planning the EEAS.

The Committee are seeking written evidence from anyone interested in the EEAS. Questions on which  evidence is sought include:

  • What are the main achievements of the EEAS since its establishment and where has it been less successful?
  • Has the EEAS been successful in communicating and promoting the EU's policies and values?
  • Has the EEAS led to a more coordinated and effective EU foreign policy?
  • Has the EEAS been effective in response to crises?
  • Is the EEAS budget sufficient to meet its objectives? Are there areas where it could make savings?
  • What impact has the European financial crisis had on the EEAS?

The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 12 December.

Commenting Lord Teverson, Chairman of the Lords EU Sub-Committee for  External Affairs, said:

“The European External Action Service was one of the major innovations to come out of the Lisbon Treaty in terms of how the EU presents itself to the world. We are now nearly two years on from its inception and the time is right for an assessment of its performance. What has it got right and where is it going wrong? Is it providing added value?”

“Our inquiry will provide a detailed and thorough analysis of the EEAS and we welcome contributions to that process from anyone with an interest in this important area of EU activity.”

The evidence session will take place from 10am on Thursday 1 November in Committee Room 2A of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at

The evidence session is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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