EAAS Conference Abstracts Christopher HILL –

EAAS Conference Abstracts
Why we needed an EEAS and what still needs to be done
Christopher HILL – University of Cambridge
In response to Robert Cooper ….
I am looking forward to hearing how a diplomat of Robert Cooper’s great experience
– at both national and EU levels - looks upon both the concept of the EEAS and its
current reality. Given the scepticism of Foreign Secretary Hague (possibly not shared
by all his officials) there are clearly potential obstacles to implementation posed by
the attitudes of the major Member States. Indeed, are we able to differentiate the
attitudes of the Member States on the basis of their size, say, or their foreign policy
traditions? I have spent much of my career arguing that EU foreign policy can only
succeed if it manages to harness the various strengths of national foreign policies
while not threatening their cherished, and in some cases new-found, sense of
independence. The EEAS represents a very practical test of this hypothesis, and we
must hope that Mr Cooper will allow us a sufficient glimpse behind the arras of EU
foreign policy-making to follow it through. Where does cooperation most usefully
take place? Who drives change and who drags their feet? How do third states react
to changes of representation? How is the HR herself using, or likely to use, the
EEAS? And is there an identifiable sense in which she is blending EU external
relations into EU foreign policy overall, a practice we would expect given her dualhatted roles as Commission Vice President and EU High Representative. Finally, I
may be craftily asking whether Mr Cooper would adapt any of the theses in his book
‘The Breaking of Nations’ if he were writing it now, after several years’ experience at
the top of the world’s first attempt at supra-state diplomacy……
EU diplomacy in a changing global diplomatic environment
Jozef BATORA – Comenius University, Bratislava
I suggest that the EEAS could be conceptualized as an interstitial organization, i.e.
an organization emerging in the interstices between various organizational fields and
recombining physical, informational, financial, legal and legitimacy resources
stemming from organizations belonging to these different organizational fields. This
interstitial status creates a situation in which there are different and sometimes
conflicting organizational principles and practices introduced within the EEAS. There
are also various and sometimes conflicting sets of expectations in relation to the
Service from actors within the organization as well as from outside. The EEAS as a
newly founded diplomatic service is subject to the same isomorphic pressures and
standardization of the diplomatic field as other newly founded diplomatic services.
But due to its interstitial nature, the EEAS is a carrier of ambiguity and infuses the
diplomatic field with heterogeneity which may generate a process of innovation in
the institutionalized order of diplomacy.
Mike SMITH – Loughborough University
The focus of this session is on the extent to which and the ways in which the EU has
changed European diplomacy. I look forward to hearing the views of the speakers at
this session, which I hope will raise the following issues:
The fact that European diplomacy as a whole (not just EU diplomacy) is in a
state of flux and that this is part of a far broader process of change in
diplomacy engendered by globalisation and new forms of communication and
The related fact that the very fact of the existence of the EEAS can be viewed
differently: as an institutional innovation in the EU, a reflection of a
diplomatic process entailing negotiation and bargaining, and as a response to
the broader changes in diplomatic practice.
The expectation that in this context, the EEAS might be expected to
challenge diplomatic processes within the EU, between the EU and Europe
more generally, and between European diplomacy and the wider world – the
challenge being a reflection of the EEAS’ existence but also a reflection of its
developing practice.
That this challenge will be felt in four key areas: deliberation, representation,
communication and negotiation. We can already see some of the impact in
these areas, but it is early days. It remains to be seen whether the EEAS will
establish itself as the pearl in the oyster of changing diplomatic practices or
as the cuckoo in the nest.
The EEAS : practical problems and prospects
Cesare ONESTINI - Head of the Corporate Board Secretariat, EEAS
From the outset the EEAS faced the challenge of unreasonably high expectations
generated by the much trumpeted but ultimately failed attempts to agree a
Constitution for the EU. Setting it up was a race against the clock, marred by the
lack of adequate preparations, institutional bickering, novel administrative
challenges, and poor staff morale - all at a time of a very demanding international
agenda in Europe's neighbourhood. Against this backdrop, it is remarkable that; (i)
the EEAS decision was adopted in a relatively short time; (ii) the setting up of the
service minimised disruptions, ensured business continuity and marked a number of
significant successes; (iii) the integration of staff from the 'three sources' is moving
close to cruising speed; (iv) relations with the Commission, the Council and the
Parliament have been put on a firm footing. Important challenges lie ahead and can
be summed up under three headings: (i) strengthening the coherence of EU external
action and leveraging the external aspects of internal policies, developing a
comprehensive approach to respond to changing political contexts in third countries,
and acting in sync with Member States; (ii) truly speaking with one voice, bridging
the views from the two 'executives' (Commission and Council) and (iii) in terms of its
structures, building on what the three sources bring to the EEAS: the agenda and
priority setting dynamic of the Council, Commission and Presidency system; the
diplomatic skills, traditions and networks of Member States’ diplomacies; the
incentive-based negotiating know-how of the Commission; the civilian and military
tools for crisis response and crisis resolution. If the EEAS manages to meet these
challenges it will prove to be the blueprint for the European civil service of the
The EEAS and the member states : cooperation or rivalry?
The real value of the EEAS lies in its ability to help the EU Member States to
make the best use of their collective weight, and that of the different EU
institutions, in the areas where we agree to act together.
The July 2010 Council Decision that established the EEAS stated that “the EEAS
shall support, and work in co-operation with, the diplomatic services of the
Member States, as well as with the General Secretariat of the Council and the
services of the Commission, in order to ensure consistency between the different
areas of the Union’s external action and between those areas and its other
This means mobilising the different external action tools available and using
these in a coherent way in consultation with Member States to deliver objectives
agreed by Member States; for example, ensuring that EU-wide levers of
influence, such as aid instruments, trade access and sanctions, are deployed in a
way which reflects the foreign policy agreements reached by consensus in the
Foreign Affairs Council, and deliver real impact on the ground.
The EEAS has been in existence for some 22 months now. It has had a number
of key successes, including its widely commended roles on the Iran nuclear issue
and the Middle East Peace Process. The LSE discussion on the EEAS presents an
opportune moment for further discussion – not least given Baroness Ashton’s
Review of the EEAS in mid-2013.
EU diplomacy, competence and international law
Ramses WESSEL – University of Twente, the Netherlands
The European Union (EU) is not a state. Yet it is an active participant in the
diplomatic network of states that is primarily regulated by international
diplomatic and consular law. In the report of December 2011 evaluating the
EEAS, the view was expressed that it was set to rise above “internal debates
pertaining to institutional and constitutional reform”, and instead to focus on
“delivering new substance to the EU’s external action”. There is certainly no lack
of ambition in post-Lisbon EU external relations. The intensified global diplomatic
actions of the EU trigger the question to what extent the EU’s external ambitions
are compatible with the international legal framework. Traditionally, diplomatic
relations are established between states, and the legal framework is firmly stateoriented. The EU is not a state but an international organization, albeit a very
special one. It enjoys international legal personality, which allows it to enter into
legal relations with states and other international organizations. At the same
time, its external competences are limited by the principle of conferral (Art. 5
TEU), and in many cases the EU is far from exclusively competent and shares its
powers with the Member States. The emerging question is to what extent
international law allows the EU to participate in international diplomatic relations.
And, perhaps more importantly, to what extent international law allows the EU to
represent or replace its Member States?
The sociology/anthropology of European diplomacy
Karolina POMORSKA and Ana JUNCOS – Universities of Cambridge and
The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) begs the question of
whether EEAS officials might develop an esprit de corps (understood as the
emergence of shared beliefs and values and a desire amongst those officials to
achieve a common goal) and how this might be achieved. This is a relevant question
to pose of the EU’s new diplomats. They come from differing professional
backgrounds and may have different beliefs about what diplomacy is and whether
the EEAS is to have ‘diplomats’ in the same way that nation states do. In addition, in
organizational studies ‘esprit de corps’ has been associated with key variables such
as organizational commitment, propensity to leave, cross-functional cooperation and
productivity. Since the EEAS is composed of officials originating from different
institutions (the European Commission, Council Secretariat General and the Foreign
Ministries of the Member States), the paper discusses the challenges associated with
aggregating different beliefs and values within the Service. More specifically, the
paper examines five factors that have the potential to promote organizational esprit
de corps, communication, leadership, public image, trust and training. The paper
concludes that, as far as these factors are concerned, the first two years of operation
of the Service do not bode well for the emergence of an esprit de corps and that,
consequently, this might undermine the coherence and effectiveness of the EEAS
Simon Duke – EIPA, Maastricht
As important as the institutional issues are, they should be seen in the context of an
existential identity crisis that the EU is undergoing in its external relations, a crisis
related to the euro crisis but not the cause of it. The presentation concentrates on
the composition of the EEAS, specifically the gender and geographical balance
aspects. The key argument will be not so much any legacy imbalances, but what can
be done to correct perceived imbalances and the impact upon the Service of either
letting existing trends continue or of applying efforts aimed at rebalancing them. A
second series of comments will dwell upon the training dimensions. While progress
has been made, training initiatives are confounded by a lack of overall strategy, a
lack of focus and open questions about whether any anticipated ‘socialisation’ effect
is realistic. Finally, as a catalyst for discussion, the presentation will review the
important question of whether a unified diplomatic culture or common mindset is
likely to surface in the EEAS. I will suggest that the psychological challenges of
creating common mindsets may have been underestimated, and that the adaptation
to the Service and the emergence of a ‘diplomatic culture’ will remain longer-term
The EU as a diplomatic actor: bilateral diplomacy pre- and
Bruno HANSES – Political Counsellor, EU delegation Kinshasa
This session will cover what the Lisbon Treaty changed and did not change in
bilateral EU Delegations, taking the EU Delegation in the DR Congo as an example.
The context is a fast-moving political environment in the DRC encompassing
enormous challenges for regional stability, economic recovery, the reconstruction of
the state and the establishment of rule of law, democracy and human rights. The
session will examine whether and how EU foreign and security policy makes a
difference and whether through the EEAS it is now better equipped than in the past
to pull together various EU policy instruments – diplomacy, development
cooperation, humanitarian relief and external relations in general.
Daniel SCHAER – Political Counsellor, EU Delegation, Kigali
The creation of the EEAS required a mix of "diplomats" from very different
institutions (Council, Commission and member states) combined to create one team.
This session analyses the interplay between the different cultures of the institutions,
the diplomatic mindsets involved and their influence on the work of bilateral
delegations, with Rwanda and the Congo as prime examples. The session also
reviews the new responsibilities of EU delegations: representing the Union in the
host country and EU coordination. A sub-text is a view of the EEAS from a "new
member state" and a "small state" perspective, where the EEAS widens the reach
and horizons of a member state in terms of global affairs. On the assumption that
participants will have read the papers on the conference website, the session will
provide a discussion of the EU’s response to the war situation in Rwanda and Congo,
asking whether the EU has been noticeably more effective post-Lisbon than it would
have been under the regime of the ‘rotating presidency’. It will also provide a
practical example of coordination between the Commission and the EEAS, and focus
on the potential for the EEAS to use the specific diplomatic skills of member states
with historical connections in the area. Is EU policy hampered by the continuation of
national interests? Whatever the answer, there is the very pertinent issue of whether
the member states represented in the area (a third of the EU membership) work
alongside the EU Delegation or together with it, and whether there are separate
agendas which the EU delegation has to face. Further issues include the coordination
of Commission policies and CFSP by the EEAS in the field, the potential for
continuing and new turf battles, practical implications of varying interpretations of
the Treaty and line-management issues - relations between Brussels and the field.
Diplomacy is commonly defined in terms of processes and structures concerned with
communication and representation. But despite the enhanced complexity of
diplomatic agendas and the increasingly diverse yet interconnected sites where these
structures and processes are located, we adhere to traditional terminologies – such
as bilateralism, multilateralism and summit diplomacy. This indicates disaggregated
arenas and processes for managing complex and interlinked agendas possessing
quite different dynamics. Against this background this session – together with that
on multilateralism – provides a valuable opportunity to focus on both the broader
and the more specifically EU-related aspects of diplomatic processes and their
attendant structures. The setting for this discussion is clearly the changing nature of
diplomacy with its more diffuse communication patterns reflected in concerns with
public diplomacy and soft power underpinned by developments in communications
and information technologies (web 2.0/E-diplomacy); a more diverse cast of players
or ‘stakeholders’ and an increasingly densely configured set of arenas in which
network forms exist alongside – rather than replacing - more traditional, hierarchical
forms. Against this background, we would expect to find a juxtaposition of changes
deriving from three interlinked dynamics: change in the global diplomatic system,
national diplomatic systems and the EU diplomatic system in the post-Lisbon Treaty
environment. The result is likely to be uncertainty. Richard Haas reflects this well in
an article entitled ‘Messy Multilateralism’ which appeared in the Financial Times in
2010. Here he argued for a more diverse range of multilateral structures/processes
to meet the obvious failures of ‘classic’ multilateralism – as represented in the 2009
Copenhagen climate change summit. The same basic point can be applied to
‘bilateralism’. Here, what the EU appears to represent is ‘messiness’ to a high
degree. Lest this be thought a pejorative term, we could speak of ‘hybridity’. Hybrid
bilateralism differs from classic or pure bilateralism in a number of senses but most
generally by testing the boundaries that we apply to diplomacy. It recognises that
much diplomacy – and this is particularly true of the EU – embraces ambiguity,
resting on rules, conventions, norms and processes deriving from several modalities
of conducting relations. Trying to unpack this ambiguity requires us to think about
the key features that underpin bilateralism as a set of structures, processes – and, in
some contexts, values. One way of doing this is to apply a framework that Jozef
Bàtora and I employed to examine intra-EU bilateral diplomacy. In brief, this
involves three aspects:
Access: the direction of representation in terms of the identification of key
nodes in global policy networks.
Function: what are the purposes of bilateral representation, both in terms of the
‘pure’ forms associated with developing relations between actors (both state
and non-state) and as a component of complex/hybrid processes? How is
the balance between symbolic functions and those related to various forms of
service delivery and reporting, for example, registered in specific locations?
Presence: what structures do the demands of access and function require in a
given location? What considerations regarding EU external policies and the
projection of the EU as an actor are relevant, and how do these vary between
specific locations? How are the patterns of hybridized bilateral relations
involving the EEAS and member state diplomatic posts reflective of different
dynamics rooted in differing objectives?
Against this background we might ask what we can expect from changing
organisational structures as represented by the EEAS in terms of diplomatic
Multi-lateral diplomacy post Lisbon : the EU delegations in
Geneva and Vienna
Joëlle HIVONNET – EEAS China, formerly EU delegation Geneva (UN)
The entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon proved a major challenge for multilateral
delegations and particularly for the EU Delegation to the UN and other international
organisations in Geneva. Beyond the problems common to all EU multilateral
Delegations (a lack of common understanding of what changes the Treaty would
entail for the representation of the EU, unresolved questions regarding the status of
the EU in International Fora, uncertainties about the respective roles of the European
Commission in external affairs and the EEAS, as well as a crippling absence of
instructions from EU Headquarters), the Geneva EU Delegation accumulated specific
challenges. These were inter alia the diversity of international organisations in
Geneva, the absence of a Head of Delegation for one year, the creation of a second
EU Delegation to the WTO in parallel to a separate EU delegation to the UN and the
merging of the Council Liaison Office with part of the previous Commission
Delegation. To all these challenges was added a fundamental challenge for human
resources. There was a need to meld mind-sets into a new team spirit, with the
intake of national diplomats at the same time as the merger and the split.
Given these challenges, Geneva embarked on a joint exercise with the Member
States, which became known as "the matrix". It was based on 3 columns describing
(1) the pre-Lisbon situation with regard to EU representation, organization by
organization, (2) a full interpretation of the Treaty and how responsibilities would
look in the end and (3) transitional arrangements. Ultimately, the matrix, which was
meant to be approved by Brussels, was blocked in Geneva, and efforts became
concentrated on agreeing transitional arrangements with rotating presidencies.
Nevertheless, the matrix did contribute to identifying conflicting interpretations of the
Treaty, and it was in that context that the new concept of "competence creep"
arose. Left unresolved, in spite of repeated calls to COREPER to clarify issues, the
conflicting interpretations of the Treaty of Lisbon led to a general crisis resulting in
almost total absence of effective EU representation in all Geneva multilateral fora in
2011. The presentation is based on hands-on experience over 3 years. It looks at
some of the specific challenges faced in Geneva during that period as well as some
general challenges arising from the sequencing and gaps in implementation resulting
from the entry into force of the Treaty on 1st December 2009, the subsequent
creation of the EEAS on 1st January 2011 and the adoption of the UN resolution on
3rd May 2011. Finally, the session will review the reasons why the implementation of
the Lisbon Treaty so far may be falling short of expectations and may sadly be
contributing to a loss of EU influence in international affairs.
Lars-Erik LUNDIN – former head of EU delegation, Vienna
This session will be based on some basic observations, in part arising from points
made in my paper “Working together: the OSCE’s relationship with other relevant
international organisations: Nine steps to effective OSCE engagement”, which I will
assume participants have read, so that we can concentrate on discussion of pertinent
themes arising. The international organisations in Vienna focus mainly on security,
including significantly a wide range of transnational threats. The experience from
efforts to get EU states to act together in three different multilateral security settings
seems promising for future effective multilateralism. In the OSCE, ahead of the
Astana OSCE Summit in 2010, diplomats, EU foreign Ministers and later Heads of
State and Government were able to agree on firm positions, in particular on human
rights. This agreement led to an overall reaffirmation of OSCE commitments across
the board. In the IAEA the EU worked successfully to defeat resolutions in the
General Conference threatening to derail further the NPT regime as regards the
Middle East. On organized crime, terrorism and drugs, in UNODC the EU developed a
viable strategic perspective. I shall be reflecting on whether the EU goes about
achieving its objectives more effectively in the Vienna setting since implementation
of the Lisbon Treaty. I shall describe differences in the management of EU business
pre- and post-Lisbon and hopefully develop with other conference participants a view
on whether the EU’s multilateralism is more effective since the important changes
introduced by the creation of the EEAS. I shall argue that, above all, to achieve
coherence and effectiveness it will be important to avoid damaging EU-internal legal
battles and to avoid the negative impact of concentration on procedures as a
substitute for inspired policy-making. The EU still has a long way to go before its
claim to effective multilateralism can be substantiated. Achieving increased EU
leverage is a key requirement for the EU in its relations with the US and other global
partners; and increased leverage is only likely to be achieved with clear analysis of
‘the bigger picture’. There are benefits to be attained from enhanced overall
relationships between the EU, its Member States and political dialogue partners
across the world. One important lesson from this session will be that EU success in
relations with one international organisation may catalyse success in others. Another
will be that the efficiency introduced with the creation of the EEAS is key to
understanding the EU’s increasing international presence and ‘actorness’.
The EEAS: democratic control and the role of the European
As Conservative foreign affairs spokesman in the European Parliament I condemned
proposals to create an EU foreign ministry, as recommended by a policy paper
(included on this EEAS conference website) drawn up by nine European states excluding the UK but including France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland. It calls for
wholesale reorganisation of external and security policies to create an all-powerful
foreign ministry, run on majority voting and thus bypassing the British veto on key
foreign-policy decisions. I believe this plays into the hands of the hardline
eurosceptics who have been predicting this type of move for years. There is no
evidence that this is something the people of Europe desire and it appears as a
political elitist top down project which will end in tears. There is no support for such
a move in the UK by the public or the Government, which would result in a veto and
a referendum which would almost undoubtedly reject it. Those who want to suck all
sovereign power to the centre of a federalist Europe dream equally of global status
for their superstate. They fantasise a United States of Europe, bestriding the
international stage and wielding diplomatic and military might. The truth is that
under the Lisbon Treaty we already have an External Action Service led by Baroness
Ashton which should be there to represent to EU's interests abroad. Its scope and its
responsibilities - not to mention its cost to the taxpayer - are quite enough already."
(adapted from Charles Tannock’s website, 19 September 2012)
Normative Power Europe: the future of the EU’s diplomatic