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General Affairs Council, 3028th meeting: extracts from the joint press conference by Steven Vanackere, acting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Institutional Reforms and President in office of the Council, and Maroš Šefčovič
On 26 July 2010, Steven Vanackere, acting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Institutional Reforms, chaired the 3028th meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels.
The EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs formally endorsed the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), setting out its organisation and functioning, and paving the way for it to be launched before the end of the year.
This agreement allowed, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, to start recruiting diplomats to fulfil EEAS top positions.
Ministers also approved negotiating rules for the membership talks with Iceland. The first round of negotiations was held tomorrow in Brussels. Iceland applied for EU accession last year in the wake of its financial crisis.
Steven Vanackere and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, gave a joint press conference after the meeting.