Extracts from the press conference by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, on the European External Action Service (EEAS)
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 25/03/2010 First transmission: 25/03/2010
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, has on 25 March 2010 in Brussels, presented her draft proposals on the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS). The proposals came following extensive consultations with the European Commission, European Union Member States and the European Parliament.
The proposals were later the basis of further discussions with Member States with a view to their approval as soon as possible. This followed the adoption by the European Commission on 24 March 2010 of the proposal of the revision of the Financial Regulation, and the first step in the revision of the Staff Regulation. All elements were therefore now on the table to advance on putting the EEAS in place.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Catherine Ashton: There are three legal texts in the past package. Yesterday, the College of Commissioners agreed on the proposal of the revision of the Financial Regulation, and the first step in the revision of the Staff Regulation. So, today, I can table my draft Decision. All the elements are on the table, and we are well on track to get the service in place. I am hopeful that we can reach an agreement swiftly in the Council, supported by the Parliament and the Commission. It is in everyone's interest to have the European Action Service (EEAS) up and running as soon as possible. I think in Europe, we need the European Action Service because we have to adapt to a world of growing complexity, and a fundamental power shifts. We can only punch our weight if we are able to bring together all the instruments - economic, political, development and security, crisis management and long term engagement - in support of a single political strategy.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Catherine Ashton: We generally agreed that the service will follow the principle of single geographic and thematic desks, covering the whole world and the key global issues. The Treaty clearly envisages the bringing together the Commission's external systems programs with the Common Foreign and Security Policy. It will help deliver a comprehensive and strategic approach to our relations with third countries.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Catherine Ashton: The point that I'm making is that the way the European Union works in many countries, already, is much greater than traditional diplomacy. The difference is going to be, we bring it together and it becomes more coherent. So if you are looking at it from the outside, what you see Europe, you don't see Commission or Council, you don't see different things, you see Europe. And you see that brought together in way that it makes it more effective on the ground.
||General views of the press room ( 2 shots)