The 2009 Lisbon Treaty did much to strengthen the Union’s activities in the area of external action. First, it created the post of High Representative (HR) of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In 2010, Catherine Ashton became the first person appointed to that position. She was succeeded on the 1st of November 2014 by Federica Mogherini.
And, second, the Treaty established the European External Action Service (EEAS). Operational since 2011, it is essentially the EU’s new diplomatic service, assisting the HR in the conduct of EU foreign policy. Notably, the EEAS runs the network of 141 EU Delegations around the world.
The EEAS works to ensure the consistency and coordination of the Union's external action, preparing policy proposals and implementing them after their approval by the European Council.