The Lisbon Treaty provided for the establishment of the European External Action Service to support the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The European External Action Service reports to the High Representative. The EEAS brings together the structures of the European Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council for external relations and the CFSP. The EEAS also includes the more than 130 long-established delegations of the European Community, now Delegations of the Union, in third countries and at 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 offices of the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Council that had been in charge of foreign relations before the EAAS 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.