The success of the European External Action Service should be measured using pragmatic benchmarks, instead of judging it against “foolish and exaggerated ambitions” for the European Union to emerge as a superpower, according to a former U.K. ambassador to the United Nations and the EU.
In an opinion piece published in Europe’s World, David Hannay identifies some of these pragmatic benchmarks, which he clarifies are not litmus test for success or failure. He argues that no diplomatic service could compensate for contradictory or weak policies and for the absence of policy.
Hannay’s recommended benchmarks include:
- Strength of the action’s leadership and effectiveness of the European Union high representative’s coordinating role within the European Commission.
- Success of the EU in “achieving a greater degree of policy coherence.”
- Degree of professionalism of diplomats that would work for EEAS and their interaction with diplomats of EU member states.
- Ability of EEAS diplomats to respond to increasing demands for public diplomacy, as compared to classical diplomatic tasks.