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European External Action Service

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what preparatory work has been undertaken by his Department on the European External Action Service since 1 June 2005; (186719)

(2) what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the European External Action Service; and if he will make a statement;

(3) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Castle Point of 5 February 2008, Official Report, column 968W, on the European External Action Service, whether any meetings on the organisation and funding of the European External Action Service have taken place;

(4) what meetings he plans to hold with European counterparts to discuss the organisation and funding of the European external action service in 2008; and if he will make a statement;

(5) how many of his Department's staff will be seconded to the European External Action Service in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement;

(6) what criteria will be used to nominate staff from his Department for secondment to the European External Action Service;

(7) what role personnel from his Department will play in the establishment and work of the European External Action Service;

(8) what estimate he has made of the size of the (a) staff establishment and (b) budget of the European External Action Service in each of the next three years.

There have been no discussions at ministerial or working level on the detailed organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS). The functioning and organisation of the EEAS will be the subject of negotiation among the member states before a final, unanimous decision to launch the service, after the Lisbon treaty enters force.

Negotiations are due to start later this year and no decision has been taken on the size, structure or funding of the EEAS, or of the criteria used to nominate staff for secondment to the EEAS.