Setting up the European External Action Service: Building a comprehensive approach

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    This Background Note aims to contribute to a more inclusive and better informed debate ahead of the final decision on the set-up of the European External Action Service (EEAS). It presents criteria to guide an assessment of the new institutional arrangements and mandates from a develop-ment perspective, highlights the issues being discussed and lays out options for a comprehensive approach to external action by the European Union (EU).

    Taken together, the Lisbon Treaty, the arrival of a new leadership team and the establishment of the EEAS, provide a window of opportunity for the EU to recast its external relations institutions, building a more unified approach to development and foreign policy and practice. 

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