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The executive trio of the European External Action Service. Latest evolution

(BRUSSELS2, IN LUXEMBOURG) EU foreign ministers are still struggling to agree on the European External Action Service. The discussion continues. And on Cathy Ashton's side, we refuse to take any gamble, at this moment, on reaching a complete agreement before nightfall. The objective would thus be to obtain a “political” agreement on the decision governing the service, by “taking” the organization chart out of the decision-making framework. “ This would make it possible to change the organization chart or adapt it without having to review the decision. » explains someone close to Cathy Ashton. The final objective still remains to have an agreement by the end of June with the European Parliament.

A trio of secretaries. As things stand, the organization chart would include a trio at its head: three executive secretaries, one responsible for political issues (policy director), the other for interinstitutional issues, the third for daily management (backoffice). . There would be no “primus inter pares” among them. Everyone would be placed on the same equal footing. Each of them would have a certain political level allowing them to replace the High Representative if necessary during a meeting of ministers, at a session of the European Parliament or a trip abroad. The decision would mention the presence of this trio of executive secretaries without specifying the role.

(update) This format was refused by the 27 ministers. We therefore remain with the original scheme: a general secretary and two deputy general secretaries.

Autonomy of the PeSDC. The structures of the PeSDC (EU General Staff, CPCC, Sitcen) would see their autonomy preserved with a direct link to the High Representative, without being attached to or specifically depending on one of the three secretaries general. A deputy secretary general would, however, be responsible for security or crisis management issues. He would be in charge of preparing certain decisions, questions of management, contracts, public markets, etc.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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