The creation of a new ‘European External Action Service’ (EEAS) under the Treaty of Lisbon represents one of the most far-reaching attempts to reform European Union (EU) foreign policy institutions in the history of European integration. However, the process of organizing the EEAS has involved more ‘top–down’ political interference rather than the more ‘bottom–up’ codification of existing procedures that typically takes place in the reform of EU foreign policy institutions. This trend can be framed in terms of three conflicts: a clash of intergovernmental politics over the structure and staffing of the EEAS; a clash of bureaucratic politics among the major institutions involved in European foreign policy; and a clash of priorities between two major EU foreign policy goals: development and security policy. These conflicts call into question whether the EEAS will improve the coherence of EU foreign/security policy, as it was intended, or simply add more confusion to the EU's global presence.
- European External Action Service