EU’s Ashton Braves Critics, Bares Plan for New Diplomatic Service

Amid a flurry of criticism from European officials, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, officially unveiled March 25 plans to create a new diplomatic service that would have a “strategic overview” on EU policy and leading role in the bloc’s decision-making on international cooperation and development assistance.

Plans for the new External Action Service, which will have as many as 7,000 foreign service officers and civil servants, is expected to hurdle a tough appraisal and approval process under the EU, with the bloc’s parliamentarians blasting Ashton’s blueprint for failing to consider members’ views.

The EU has yet to allocate a budget for the planned diplomatic service.

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    Tarra Quismundo

    Tarra Quismundo joined Devex Manila as a staff writer in October 2009 after more than six years of working as a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a nationwide daily, for which she covered major breaking news in politics, military, police and international affairs. Tarra's Devex News coverage focuses on key Asian donors and top aid officials around the globe.