Taking the confirmation hearing of the forthcoming HRVP Federica Mogherini as an appropriate juncture in the EEAS’s existence, this policy brief employs a unique data-set classifying the nationality and source of recruitment of EEAS management and 276 Heads of EU Delegations:
•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 September 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 61.2 per cent in September 2014 after the first round of the 2015 rotation, whereas the percentage of EU Delegations headed by EU institution officials decreased from the peak of 91.7 per cent in 2010 down to 38.8 per cent in September 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.