Constructive and synergic relations between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and member state diplomacies are an essential requisite for advancing a post-modern ‘European diplomatic system’ in the service of Europe’s interests and values. This short paper examines the impacts of the EEAS on European national diplomacies, and their reciprocal interactions, in four interconnected areas: dynamics of national adaptation in EU foreign policy, leadership issues between the EEAS and member states and among national capitals, the political and practical added value of EU Delegations around the world as well as the role and impacts of national rotating secondment to the EEAS. It argues that, in spite of the unprecedented developments affecting EU’s foreign policy machinery, more member state ownership and trust in the EEAS should be encouraged on both sides, allowing Europe to better face the multiple challenges of the 21st century global system.
Rosa Balfour, is Head of the Europe in the World Programme at European Policy Centre in Brussels
Andrea Frontini, is Junior Policy Analyst at European Policy Centre in Brussels