EEAS, one year on: V-P Šefčovič at EP hearing
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on Wednesday took part in a hearing organised by the foreign affairs (AFET) committee of the European Parliament to discuss the work of the European External Action Service in its first year of operation.
V-P Šefčovič focused on the inter-institutional and administrative aspects of the EEAS, rather than its effectiveness on the ground, which was discussed on Tuesday in AFET by HR/V-P Catherine Ashton.
He discussed with MEPs the day-to-day cooperation between EEAS and Commission staff, as well as relations with the European Parliament, and stressed that there have already been numerous successes in the EEAS' first year, for example the alliances built with international partners in the run up to the Durban climate change negotiations in 2011.
V-P Šefčovič also noted that many of the teething problems with the EEAS have already been ironed out, and that the necessary arrangements and guidance are in place to guide individual officials at headquarters or in Delegations, so that everyone knows what they should be doing and how.
Given the role that the EU wants to play around the world, V-P Šefčovič also stressed the need to review regularly the staffing levels in Delegations and to redeploy staff where necessary.