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The letter of the Twelve on the European diplomatic service. What “suggestions”!

(BRUSSELS2) One could believe that with the months that passed, the time for “letters” to Cathy Ashton seemed far away. We actually had the letter from the Benelux countries on the EEAS, that on the Middle East from B. Kouchner, the letter from the 3 of the Weimar Triangle (later 5) on defense… Well, no. Here now is a letter from twelve foreign ministers intended to present some “ suggestions " for " improve the functioning of the European diplomatic service”. The French, German, Polish and Italian ministers signed it as well as those from the Benelux, which is relatively unsurprising. Less common, we find the signatures of all the Baltic countries and the Nordics, except Denmark.

A very political letter

This letter is part of a more general evaluation process which will see the High Representative present a general report by the end of the year, followed in 2013 by a general review of the decision establishing the organization and functioning of the EEAS. This mode of expression is very political. Because if these letters are not officially “opened”, they almost have the character of one because they quickly reach journalistic ears and everything from the writing to the content suggests their publication.

This letter is very polite but also very elaborate. Many subjects are covered: the functioning of delegations, financing, recruitment methods, coordination with member states, preparation of councils of ministers. It almost gives a guideline, aiming either to support certain reforms already underway, or to fill certain recurring gaps. It is mainly interested in procedures rather than the content produced. And undoubtedly constitutes, rather than a formal criticism, a skilful support for a strengthening and a slightly more… “orderly” organization of the EEAS…

Details are on the club

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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).