After a baptism of fire with the outbreak of the Arab Spring, the European External Action Service (EEAS) has been consolidating its structure, identifying its priorities and engaging with the rest of the world. Its potential impact on the entire system of EU foreign policy-making is enormous in terms of policy content, decision-making, relations between EU institutions and member states and among EU institutions. Through revised EU external representation and the network of Delegations, the EEAS could truly become a key interlocutor for third countries and in international organisations. Although the opportunities are vast, the context has been less than favourable, with Europe being dominated by a crisis management mode. With a relatively small staff and events occurring around the world, the EEAS has to make choices. 2013 will be the year in which such choices will be evaluated and, if need be, decisions made to improve the whole foreign policy system. The EEAS Review, due in mid-2013, will stimulate a debate on what the strategic priorities should be for EU foreign policy, what structures and mechanisms are needed to achieve such objectives, and whether the EU has given itself the know-how and toolbox to match the ambitions of the Lisbon Treaty. This exercise will be fundamental in preparing for the renewal of EU institutions in 2014.The global potential and outreach of the EEAS, its achievements and problems, its ability to forge an effective common European foreign policy, and its long and short-term priorities, will all be discussed by a high-level panel of policy-makers and experts, including David O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the EEAS, Poul Skytte Christoffersen, Ambassador of Denmark to Belgium and former Adviser to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Hanna Ojanen of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and Graham Avery, EPC Senior Adviser and Honorary Director-General of the European Commission.
The event will be chaired by Rosa Balfour, EPC Senior Policy Analyst and Head of the Europe in the World Programme.
This event is held under the auspices of the EPC’s Europe in the World Programme, in partnership with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA).
For further information, please contact: Kristi Raik, Tel: +358 9 432 7733, kristi.raik @ fiia.fi