Documents considered by the Committee on 20 October 2010 - European Scrutiny Committee Contents

11 The European External Action Service


(31439) 8029/10




+ ADD 1

Draft Council Decision establishing the Organisation and Functioning of the European External Action Service

Draft Council Decision establishing the Organisation and Functioning of the European External Action Service

Legal baseArticle 27(3) TEU; unanimity, with the consent of the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament
DepartmentForeign and Commonwealth Office
Basis of considerationMinister's letter 24 September 2010
Previous Committee Report(a) (31439) 8029/10: HC 5-xvii (2009-10), chapter 1 (7 April 2010)

(b) (31747) 11507/10: HC 428-i (2010-11), chapter 64 (8 September 2010)

Discussed in Council26 July 2010 Foreign Affairs Council
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionBoth cleared (debated on the Floor of the House on 14 July 2010); further information requested


11.1 Prior to the coming-into-force of the Lisbon Treaty, in 1999, the office of High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy was introduced by the Amsterdam Treaty. Javier Solana occupied that position thereafter. Together with an increasing number of officials in the Council Secretariat, he assisted the Council in foreign policy matters, through contributing to the formulation, preparation and implementation of policy decisions. He acted on behalf of the Council in conducting political dialogue with third parties. The six-monthly rotating Presidency was in charge of chairing the External Relations Council, representing the Union in CFSP matters, implementing the decisions taken and expressing the EU position internationally.

11.2 Under the Lisbon Treaty, new arrangements came into being. The European Council, acting by a qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission, appoints the High Representative. He or she is subject, together with the President of the Commission and the other members of the Commission, to a vote of consent by the European Parliament.

11.3 At their informal meeting in Brussels on 19 November 2009, ahead of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon (TEU) on 1 December 2009, EU Heads of State or Government agreed on the appointment of Baroness Catherine Ashton as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR).

11.4 The High Representative now exercises, in foreign affairs, the functions which, so far, were exercised by the six-monthly rotating Presidency, the High Representative for CFSP and the Commissioner for External Relations. According to Articles 18 and 27 TEU, the High Representative:

  • conducts the Union's common foreign and security policy;
  • contributes by her proposals to the development of that policy, which she will carry out as mandated by the Council, and ensures implementation of the decisions adopted in this field;
  • presides over the Foreign Affairs Council;
  • as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission, ensures the consistency of the Union's external action and is responsible within the Commission for responsibilities incumbent on it in external relations and for coordinating other aspects of the Union's external action;
  • represents the Union for matters relating to the common foreign and security policy, conducts political dialogue with third parties on the Union's behalf and expresses the Union's position in international organisations and at international conferences; and
  • shall be assisted by a European External Action Service.

11.5 Article 27(3) TEU constitutes the legal basis for the Council decision on the organisation and functioning of the EEAS.

"In fulfilling his mandate, the High Representative shall be assisted by a European External Action Service. This service shall work in cooperation with the diplomatic services of the Member States and shall comprise officials from relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the Council and of the Commission as well as staff seconded from national diplomatic services of the member states. The organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service shall be established by a decision of the Council. The Council shall act on a proposal from the High Representative after consulting the European Parliament and after obtaining the consent of the Commission."

European Council Guidelines on the EEAS

11.6 On 30 October 2009, the European Council agreed on guidelines for the European External Action Service (EEAS).[29] The future HR was invited to present a proposal for the organisation and functioning of the EEAS as soon as possible after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, with a view to its adoption by the Council at the latest by the end of April 2010.[30] This was endorsed by the December 2009 European Council.

11.7 According to the guidelines, the EEAS will be a single service under the authority of the High Representative, with an organisational status reflecting and supporting the High Representative's unique role and functions in the EU system. The EEAS will help the High Representative ensure the consistency and coordination of the Union's external action as well as prepare policy proposals and implement them after their approval by Council. It will also assist the President of the European Council and the President as well as the Members of the Commission in their respective functions in the area of external relations and will ensure close cooperation with the Member States. The EEAS should be composed of single geographical (i.e., covering all regions and countries) and thematic desks, which will continue to perform, under the authority of the High Representative, the tasks currently executed by the relevant parts of the Commission and the Council Secretariat. Trade and development policy as defined by the Treaty should remain the responsibility of relevant Commissioners of the Commission.

11.8 With respect to its staffing:

—  EEAS staff will be appointed by the High Representative and drawn from three sources: relevant departments of the General Secretariat of the Council, of the Commission and of national diplomatic services of the Member States. Recruitment will be based on merit, with the objective of securing the services of staff of the highest standard of ability, efficiency and integrity, while ensuring adequate geographical balance;

—  in order to enable the High Representative to conduct the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), the EU's crisis management structures should be part of the EEAS, under the direct authority and responsibility of the High Representative.

11.9 The EEAS should be a service of a sui generis nature, separate from the Commission and the Council Secretariat, with administrative budget and staff management autonomy and its own section in the EU budget, to which the usual budgetary and control rules will apply, and which the High Representative will propose and implement. It is to be guided by cost efficiency and aim at budget neutrality.

11.10 Overseas, the Commission's delegations will become Union delegations under the authority of the High Representative and be part of the EEAS structure. They will contain both regular EEAS staff (including Heads of Delegation) and staff from relevant Commission services. All staff should work under the authority of the Head of Delegation. EU delegations should work in close cooperation with diplomatic services of the Member States and play a supporting role as regards diplomatic and consular protection of Union citizens in third countries.

The first Council Decision

11.11 In March 2010, the HR presented a draft Council Decision. The previous Government submitted this for scrutiny shortly before the dissolution. This included detailed views from the then Minister for Europe (Chris Bryant), which are set out in the previous Committee's report of 7 April 2010.[31]

The previous Committee's assessment

11.12 When it considered this draft Council Decision, the previous Committee began by expressing its appreciation of the assiduousness of the then Minister for Europe in keeping it informed about the development of this proposal, and for having submitted his Explanatory Memorandum so soon after its publication, so that it could be considered before the dissolution of Parliament.

11.13 The previous Committee noted that, while the draft Council Decision had remained faithful to the guidelines and timeline endorsed by the European Council, it was somewhat short of the finished article—for example, the Annex, which lists the departments of the Commission and Council Secretariat to be transferred to the EEAS, was incomplete.

11.14 The previous Committee also noted that the then Minister did not refer to adoption of the Decision before the end of April, but said instead that that the Council would be "seeking political agreement" on it by then—a formulation normally used in the context of co-decision. This, the previous Committee felt, perhaps unconsciously acknowledged the elephant in the room, i.e., the European Parliament (EP). The HR had said that her proposals "shall take effect on the day of the adoption of the amending Budget of the European Union providing for the corresponding posts and appropriations in the EEAS"—put otherwise, could be implemented only as and when the European Parliament did so. And all the indications thus far were that it was endeavouring to make its agreement to this and the associated staff and financial regulations dependent on changes to this Council Decision, particularly with regard to the Deputy Secretary General positions. Powerful voices there, it seemed, wished to see three political Deputy Secretaries General, broadly reflecting the political balance of the EP, who would deputise for the HR when necessary—bizarre notion, the previous Committee felt, but one that was nonetheless in play, in a situation in which the EP had demonstrable leverage.

11.15 The previous Committee also noted that the crucial proposals in Article 8—about who was to do what, when and with whom concerning the plethora of EU external programmes and instruments—remained open to discussion. The complex arrangements set out therein seemed much more to reflect unresolved "turf wars" and the inherent difficulties of a position that had a large footprint in two institutions than a formula consistent with the "principle of cost-efficiency aiming towards budget neutrality". As a consequence, the previous Committee was unable to understand the division of responsibilities between the EEAS and the Commission in the programming of the EU's external cooperation programmes, particularly with respect to development and neighbourhood policies in Article 8(4) and (5).

11.16 On the plus side, the previous Committee found the previous Minister's position on the provision of consular services to UK citizens overseas "commendably clear and robust."[32] Even so, the previous Committee noted, he had nothing to say about what impact he thought the creation of a world-wide EU diplomatic service, delivering technical assistance and in charge of an expanding EU common foreign and security policy, would have on Britain's capacity to promote her own bilateral interests in the major centres of power and opportunity, which would remain crucial to our future as a global economic and political actor.

11.17 With a general election imminent, the normal option of holding the Council Decision under scrutiny while the Minister provided further information between the date of the meeting and the end April was not available to the previous Committee. The option of a debate ahead of adoption was also not possible. But the previous Committee did not feel able, on the basis of the information presently available, to clear it. In all the circumstances — and recognising that this could not take place until there was a new Parliament — the previous Committee considered that a debate was the best option available to it, and so recommended.

11.18 Given the importance of this proposal, which—the Minister's assurances on consular protection notwithstanding—was nonetheless likely to be the most significant change in the conduct of British foreign policy for many years, the previous Committee recommended that this debate should be on the Floor of the House. When it took place, it said that it would expect the new Minister to provide a detailed outline of what had been transferred to the EEAS and of the arrangements that had been decided upon under Article 8 between the EEAS and the Commission in the programming of the EU's external cooperation programmes, and his or her views on:

—  how they fulfilled the "principle of cost-efficiency aiming towards budget neutrality"; and

—  the impact of this new global diplomatic service on Britain's ability to promote her bilateral interests.

11.19 In the meantime, the previous Committee retained the document under scrutiny.[33]

11.20 On 26 April, the EU Foreign Affairs Council reached political agreement on the proposal.

11.21 Three accompanying measures are required for the EEAS to take up its work:

  • Commission's draft proposal amending the staff regulations (published on 9 June 2010);[34]
  • Commission proposal amending the financial regulation (published 24 March 2010);[35] and
  • an amending budget (published 15 June 2010).[36]

11.22 The European Parliament has co-decision rights in the above measures. Though it is only entitled to be consulted on the Council decision on the establishment of the EEAS, the EP sought to take advantage of its co-decision rights on the accompanying measures in order to seek effective de facto co-decision rights on the Council Decision. Negotiations continued thus since the end of April.

11.23 On 21 June 2009 a further "quadrilogue" (the HR, the Presidency representing the Member States, the Commission and EP representatives) was held in Madrid where all parties reached a political agreement on the establishment of the EEAS.[37] This agreement was approved by the EP will vote on 8 July 2010 during its plenary session in Strasbourg. It allowed the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission to commence the recruitment process over the summer by advertising vacant posts, and envisaged the European Parliament then voting on the amendments to the staff and financial regulations in September and the EEAS to be up and running by December 2010.

11.24 The key elements of that agreement are summarised in our previous Report. In summary, the Committee judged the outcome to be nominally much more in favour of the Council and Member States than the European Parliament was seeking.[38]

The revised Council Decision

11.25 Against this background, a revised Council Decision was promulgated on the establishment, organisation and functioning of the EEAS. The Decision explained that provisions should be adopted relating to the staff of the EEAS and their recruitment and the Financial Regulation should be adopted in order to ensure budgetary autonomy necessary for the smooth operation of the EEAS. In particular the High Representative would be the Appointing Authority, in relation both to officials subject to the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Communities and agents subject to the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants, and also have authority over the Seconded National Experts ("SNEs") in post in the EEAS. The number of officials in the EEAS would be decided each year as part of the budgetary procedure and be reflected in the establishment plan.

11.26 The Decision went on to explain how the EEAS should function including in relation to the following:

  • Nature and Scope: the EEAS will be administratively autonomous, separate from the Commission and the Council Secretariat and with its central administration headquarters in Brussels and include EU delegations to third countries and international organisations;
  • Tasks: as well as supporting the High Representative the Decision states that the EEAS shall assist the President of the Commission, the Commission and the President of the European Council;
  • Co-operation: the Decision outlines the ways in which the EEAS will work with the Council Secretariat and Commission services in order to ensure that there is consistency between the different areas of the Union External action;
  • Central Administration: as well as being managed by a Secretary General under the authority of the High Representative and assisted by two Deputy Secretaries-General, there will be a number of Directorates General comprising geographic desks covering all countries and regions of the world as well as multilateral and thematic desks;
  • Union Delegations: the High Representative is responsible for the EU Delegations; the Decision outlines how the delegations will work, including how the delegations will get their instructions, and makes clear that, inter alia, implementation of development spending remains the responsibility of the Commission;
  • Staff: the Decision explains who shall comprise the EEAS, how they will be recruited and that changes will need to be made to the staff regulations to take account of the EEAS and give a base for staff terms and conditions;
  • Budget: the Decision makes it clear that the High Representative shall act as authorising officer for the EEAS section of the General Budget;
  • Programming: the Decision sets out the way in which the EEAS and the Commission will work together on programming and implementation cycle for the key geographic and thematic financial instruments.

11.27 The Minister for Europe (David Lidington) said that the purpose of his accompanying Explanatory Memorandum of 9 July 2010 was to highlight where there had been notable changes from the text submitted by his predecessor, resulting from discussion, then political agreement of the text at the 26 April General Affairs Council and subsequently in consultation with the EP.

11.28 Referring to the June 21 "quadrilogue", the Minister said that, upon adoption, the final text of the Decision would be accompanied by a number of additional documents namely:

—  a Declaration on political accountability;

—  elements for a Statement to be given by the High Representative in the plenary of the European Parliament on the basic organisation of the EEAS central administration;

—  a Statement of the High Representative on CSDP structures; and

—  a Declaration of the High Representative with regard to the appointment procedure she intends to apply in the EEAS.

11.29 The Minister said that the purpose of these accompanying Declarations and statements, which formed part of the overall political agreement, was "to provide welcome clarity around some elements of the text of the Decision."

11.30 The Minister's further detailed observations, in both his Explanatory Memorandum and a further letter of 13 July 2010, are set out in our previous Report.[39]

11.31 The EP having voted in favour of this package on 8 July, and Member States wishing to finalise the matter at the 26 July General Affairs Council, the Government submitted both Decisions and the accompanying measures for debate on the Floor of the House on 14 July.

11.32 At the end of that debate, the House resolved:

"That this House takes note of European Document Nos. 8029/10 and 11507/10, draft Council Decisions establishing the organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service; European Document No. 8134/10, draft Regulation on the Financial Regulations for the European External Action Service; and an unnumbered draft Regulation amending Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the conditions of employment of other servants of those Communities; and supports the Government's policy to agree to the Decision establishing the External Action Service at the Foreign Affairs Council in July 2010."[40]

Our assessment

11.33 Had the Committee been in existence at the time, we would both have confirmed our predecessors' recommendation regarding the first draft of the Council Decision and also recommended that the revised version be debated on the floor of the House. Had we been able to do so, we would have noted that the arrangements set out in Article 8—which are central to the main rationale of the EEAS, i.e., the greater effectiveness of the EU's external action and the billions of Euros involved—are still no more reassuring than in the original text, especially given the Minister's statement that: "How this set up will work in practice remains to be seen."

11.34 We would also have asked the Minister to explain what he meant by "a senior development stakeholder and sufficient development policy capacity to support the strategic programming and lead on sector and country spending allocations", and to outline what he plans to do with regard to the effective implementation of "the myriad of implementation issues to be worked through over the next six months and beyond, including around appointing the senior management team, the detail of the day to day handling of crisis management the reporting lines to the Development Commissioner and ensuring sufficient development expertise in the EEAS to carry out programming of the financial instruments."

11.35 We would also have noted that something else that remains to be seen too is the extent to which the establishment and operation of the EEAS is able to conform to "the principle of cost-efficiency aiming towards budget neutrality."

11.36 The debate notwithstanding, we hoped that, between now and the review in 2013, the Minister will take every opportunity to see to it that (as he puts it) "unnecessary duplication of tasks, functions and resources with other structures [are] avoided [and] all opportunities for rationalisation [are] used", and to ensure that mechanisms are devised that are able properly to assess the effectiveness of the arrangements that will now be put in place governing the planning and implementation of the EU's external action.

11.37 We would also have highlighted the Declaration on Political Accountability (which we reproduced at the Annex to our previous Report), upon which the Minister was silent in both his Explanatory Memorandum and his letter. During the debate, the Minister was asked to clarify the legal status of those documents and the degree to which they are relied on, and to provide the House with reassurance that the agreement does not give the Commission or the European Parliament any greater power over the budget for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. He replied that:

"Declarations are not legally binding. They are statements that provide a political context for a Council decision and how it will operate as it is taken forward."[41]

11.38 We thought that the first sentence was self-evident, and the second ambiguous. The EP had made plain its belief that, under these arrangements, it will have greater oversight of EU external action: otherwise, we felt, what would be the point of its negotiating such a Declaration? Reading the text itself, a number of questions arose. Point 1 talks of "exchanges of views prior to the adoption of mandates and strategies in the area of relevant EP Committees" and "enhanced" briefings that "relate in particular to CFSP missions financed out of the EU budget, both to those being implemented and those under preparation". Then, in Point 10 at the end, the Declaration says:

"The HR will play an active role in the upcoming deliberations on the updating of existing arrangements regarding the financing of CFSP contained in the 2006 IIA on budgetary discipline and sound financial management, based on the engagement with regard to the issues set out in point 1. The new budgetary procedure introduced by the Lisbon Treaty will apply fully to the CFSP budget. The High Representative will also work for greater transparency on the CFSP budget, including, inter alia, the possibility to identify major CSDP missions in the budget (like the present missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Georgia), while preserving flexibility in the budget and the need to ensure continuity of action for missions already engaged."

11.39 We therefore asked the Minister to set out his views on the significance of this Declaration in greater detail, noting that, in the final analysis, CFSP activity depends upon the level of funding and who controls it. We asked in particular that he clarified:

—  the full import of the first sentence of Point 10;

—  what the new budgetary procedure was and how it might "apply fully to the CFSP budget";

—  what he understood by "greater transparency on the CFSP budget";

—  what the import was of the words "the possibility to identify major CSDP missions in the budget (like the present missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Georgia), while preserving flexibility in the budget and the need to ensure continuity of action for missions already engaged."

11.40 We also asked to know under what authority the HR had negotiated this Declaration, and the extent to which Member States were involved in its drafting.[42]

The Minister's letter of 24 September 2010

11.41 The Minister begins his letter by saying that he shares the Committee's concern that it is not yet fully clear how the effectiveness of EU development spending will be guaranteed by the structure of the EEAS. He continues as follows:

"On balance, I believe the text of the Decision agreed in July is an improvement on the original April 2010 draft — e.g. the clear reference to development programming 'under the responsibility of the Development Commissioner'. I do not yet have information regarding how many staff will work on development programming in the final structure of the EEAS. However, I have raised our concern with Baroness Ashton that the information we have so far received regarding the structure of EEAS headquarters has to date included no reference to who will take on responsibility for this important work, despite the text of the Decision that you reference. The same uncertainty still applies to other important areas such as crisis management. I will certainly update the Committee as soon as we obtain reliable information in this regard. The picture is likely to become clearer after Ashton has put in place her top team and clarified the division of portfolios — a process she aims to complete by November."

11.42 The Minister then says that the budget is another area of concern. Noting that Member States having agreed an additional uplift to the EU budget of €9.5 million to fund the establishment of the EEAS in 2010, the Minister draws attention to an Amending Letter to its draft EU budget for 2011 published by the Commission on 15 September, asking for an additional €34.4 million, explained as follows:

"EUR 29,2 million requested as additional appropriations in relation to the full-year cost of the new human resources (100 new AD posts, 60 local agents in delegations and 10 contract agents at headquarters) requested in draft amending budget 6/2010, and EUR 5,2 million requested for 18 additional posts and strengthened security of the EEAS definitive premises in 2011."

11.43 The Minister says that, as the Committee pointed out, the Council Decision establishing the EEAS provides for the aim of budget neutrality:

"We are pressing hard for this. The High Representative has committed to seek efficiency savings of at least 10%, and this commitment is repeated in the amending letter for 2011, which also recalls that:

'The establishment of the EEAS has to be guided by the principles of cost-efficiency, budget neutrality, and sound and efficient management, also taking into account the impact of the current economic crisis on national public finances and the required efforts for fiscal consolidation.'

"I have urged the High Representative to be both more ambitious and more precise. Officials are analysing the amending letter carefully, identifying opportunities to seek savings during negotiations in the coming weeks. We have requested a specific plan showing how the savings will be found between now and 2013, for example through eliminating duplication of activity by the Commission and Council Secretariat units transferring into the EEAS. We will pursue this as part of negotiations on the EU budget for 2011 (including the EAS), which are due to be finalised in mid-November. We are also seeking allies amongst other member states to support us on this point."

11.44 The Minister then turns to the status of the High Representative's Declaration on Political Accountability, which accompanied the EEAS Decision:

"The Declaration is not legally binding. Nor does it confer greater power on the European Parliament. It was negotiated under the personal authority of the High Representative, largely as a response to issues raised by the European Parliament. COREPER was given the opportunity to comment on the declarations in draft, but the High Representative reserved the right to decide on the final wording herself. As you rightly note, the European Parliament was able to exert some leverage over the EEAS Decision due to its control over the budget. The High Representative therefore had to go some way to responding to the European Parliament's concerns without conceding too much on key issues of principle embodied in the text of the EEAS Decision. This Government urged the High Representative to stand firm in her negotiations with the Parliament and we will continue to do so in the months ahead."

11.45 Regarding the CFSP budget, the Minister says:

"…the declaration sets out a change in how spending through the CFSP budget, which includes civilian CSDP missions, is presented to the European Parliament rather than a substantive change in budgetary practice. The UK supports increased transparency for all EU funding for projects around the world. The Government will continue to push for more realistic estimates of expenditure and improved prioritisation in line with best budgetary practice. In particular, we continue to challenge the Commission and CSDP missions on the rationale and justification for new items of expenditure."

11.46 With regard to the import of the words "the possibility to identify major CSDP missions in the budget (like the present missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Georgia), while preserving flexibility in the budget and the need to ensure continuity of action for missions already engaged.", the Minister says:

"Again, we understand this to be about how the CFSP budget is presented rather than a substantive change. The underlying principle for spend on civilian CSDP missions, whose platform costs are funded from the CFSP budget, is that they should have available to them the funding required to implement the tasks in their mandates. This requires surety and continuity of funding. However, as crisis management operations must be flexible, it is not always possible to predict precisely what funds will be required throughout the whole year to respond to developments in theatre. As such, it is essential that additional funding can be made available, or existing funding shifted, to cover new priorities as they emerge in year. The words therefore imply that the High Representative will provide as much up front clarity as possible on budgetary requirements for specific missions, while also preserving the necessary 'flexibility' to respond to real world events."


11.47 We are grateful to the Minister for his response, which addresses our concerns as far as is possible at this juncture. But major uncertainties continue to obtain.

11.48 First, about how the effectiveness of EU development spending will be guaranteed by the structure of the EEAS, and "other important areas such as crisis management", with respect to which the Minister for Europe promises a further update "as soon as we obtain reliable information in this regard." We look forward to receiving it.

11.49 Secondly, the threats to the "principle of cost-efficiency aiming towards budget neutrality" embodied in the European Council's original guidelines and in the Council Decision establishing the EEAS. With that in mind, we reproduce at the Annex to this chapter of our Report the passage on this issue during the debate on the Floor of the House on 13 October 2010 on the draft EU Budget for 2011. There, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Justine Greening) provided further information about the proposed increase in the EEAS budget for 2011 and noted what she described as "unhelpful suggestions from the Commission in the future that additional spending at EU level could be offset by savings in member states' diplomatic services", which suggestions were "completely unacceptable to the UK." She also noted that the Government has "pushed, thus far successfully, for the Council to state on the record that the term 'budget neutrality' for the EEAS applies solely to the context of the EU budget" in order to counter the Commission's suggestions. We should be grateful if the Minister would keep the Committee informed about the Government's endeavours, —which we endorse — and in particular if, and when, a Council statement is issued on this matter.

29   A paper presented by the then EU Presidency, available at  Back

30   The extract from the European Council conclusions reads thus:

"The European Council takes note of the preparatory work in view of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (doc. 14928/09). It endorses the Presidency's report on guidelines for the European External Action Service (doc. 14930/09) and invites the future High Representative to present a proposal for the organisation and functioning of the EEAS as soon as possible after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty with a view to its adoption by the Council at the latest by the end of April 2010. In this context, it also recognises the need, as underlined in the European Security Strategy, for the European Union to become more capable, more coherent and more strategic as a global actor, including in its relations with strategic partners, in its neighbourhood and in conflict-affected areas." Back

31   See headnote: (31439) 8029/10: HC 5-xvii (2009-10), chapter 1 (7 April 2010). Back

32   For the Committee's consideration of this matter, see (29353) 5947/07: HC 16-xvii (2007-08), chapter 1 (26 March 2008) and the subsequent debate in the European Committee on 23 June 2008, the record of which is available at Back

33   See headnote: (31439) 8029/10: HC 5-xvii (2009-10), chapter 1 (7 April 2010).  Back

34   The proposal can be found at:  Back

35   The proposal can be found at:  Back

36   The proposal can be found at: Back

37   The text of the agreement can be found at: Back

38   See headnote: (31747) 11507/10: HC 428-i (2010-11), chapter 64 (8 September 2010).  Back

39   Ibid. Back

40   The text of the debate is available at


41   HC Deb, 14 July 2010, col 1056. Back

42   See (31747) 11507/10: HC 428-i (2010-11), chapter 64 (8 September 2010). Back

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