NGOs Concerned over Pace of Ashton’s Office Set up

There is a growing concern among non-governmental organizations in Brussels over how the European Union’s foreign policy office, which is headed by Catherine Ashton, is taking shape, Deutsche Welle reports. The organizations are particularly concerned over how long it is taking the EU to put all aspects of the office together.

The European External Action Service, which will support the EU foreign affairs chief, was supposed to be fully established by the end of April, but there are talks that it may not be ready to start operations before fall, Deutsche Welle notes. Other areas of the office may even take longer to set up.

“The EU can’t just completely shut up shop for up to two years whilst it tries to sort out its internal problems,” David Nichols of Amnesty International said.

He said there are reports that the office would not be ready for at least 18 more months.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.