Maigaard: European Parliament not in a Rush to Approve EU Diplomatic Corps

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton hopes to secure the approval of the European Parliament on the creation of the European External Action Service by the end of this week.

But the European body, according to Finn Maigaard, seems not in a hurry to act.

“As things stand now, the Parliament seems to be in a strong position to put a significant imprint on the future shape of the EEAS,” Maigaard says in a blog entry for the Foreign Policy Association. “Although Ashton insists that an agreement will be reached in time to launch the EEAS by December, the growing realization among MEP’s of the Parliament’s increased powers would seem to indicat that the decision to move forward ultimately is with the Parliament, not Lady Ashton.”

 As Devex reported, Ashton already reached a deal with EU foreign ministers regarding the structure of the EEAS. The commissioner sent a draft plan on the new diplomatic corps to the Council of the European Union in late March.

The areas that are still in the process of deliberation relate to whether the balance of power between the member states and the European Commission will be intergovernmental or communitarian in nature. The parliament also wants to ensure that national diplomats from member states do not outnumber EU officials in the new diplomatic corps.

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.