Whose Officials and Whose Nationals? The European External Action Service at the End of Ashton's Tenure

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GR:EEN Policy Brief 32
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The  policy brief demonstrates a growing overrepresentation of national diplomats over former Commission and Council  staff  in  the  European External  Action  Service  (EEAS), particularly at the EEAS management and Heads of EU Delegation levels.

Even though the overall  EEAS staff  data correspond to the target of 1/3 of  national diplomats recruited  to the EEAS set  by  the  Council  EEAS decision,  by July  2014  EU Member States occupied 17 (out  of  34)  posts i.e.  50%  posts at  the senior management level  (from Directors up)  while  holding  12  (out  of  21)  top management  positions (from Managing Directors up). Similarly,  the  proportion  of  EU  Delegations  headed  by  national  diplomats  increased  from 8.3  per  cent  in  2010  to 62.3 per  cent  in July  2014,  whereas  the  percentage of  EU Delegations headed by EU institution officials decreased from the peak of 91.7 per cent in 2010  down to 37.8  per cent  in July  2014.  The  EEAS  Council  Decision  1/3  target  for  EU Heads of Delegations was achieved by 2013 and, since then, it was exceeded and indeed reversed.

By  pointing  to  this  trend,  the  policy  brief  argues  that  it  is  increasingly  EU  Member  States who are in charge of the EEAS having taken -
over the decision - making channels. 

As a result, the policy brief therefore concludes that thanks to the implications, the patterns of EEAS recruitment clearly contribute and reinforce the tendency towards a ‘CFSP-ization’ of the EEAS managerial structures and hence of EU foreign policy-making.

In addition, the policy brief identifies which countries were particularly (in)effective in getting their  nationals  into  the  EEAS  staff  with  France   leading  the successful  Member  States and Finland and Luxembourg being the least successful.