The European External Action Service

The Lisbon Treaty provided for the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS) to support the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The EEAS brought together the previously existing structure of the European Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council for external relations and the CFSP. The EEAS also includes the 139 long-established delegations of the European Community, now Delegations of the Union, in third countries and to international organisations.

The EEAS cooperates closely with the national diplomatic missions of the EU member states and supports the Commission, the European Parliament and the President of the European Council. The European External Action Service draws its staff from the divisions of the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Council that had been in charge of foreign relations before the EEAS was established, and from the diplomatic services of the member states; diplomatic service staff usually return to the diplomatic service of their home countries after their temporary employment with the EEAS.