In the presence of a smiling Catherine Ashton, the European Parliament yesterday (20 October) approved by an overwhelming majority the last three legislative texts required to launch the European External Action Service (EEAS) on 1 December 2010, the day of the first anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty.
The Parliament in Strasbourg passed the Staff Regulation, the Financial Regulation and the EEAS 2010 budget, clearing the way for High Representative Catherine Ashton to appoint the senior managerial team of the new EU diplomatic service.
The appointment of the dozen high officials is expected to facilitate the selection of candidates for some 80 middle-management positions, which are also up for grabs in a first wave of recruitment.
However, the selection process so far has left a bitter after-taste, with many capitals strongly pushing for their candidates in the hope of gaining influence in the new body from the first day. When fully operational, the EEAS is expected to provide attractive employment to some 6,000 people worldwide.
The ambassador of a member country, who asked not to be named, told EurActiv the EEAS was becoming "the home of the high-flying protégés of governments in power".
shared by Prof. Dr Wolfgang Schumann on 23 Oct 10 - No Cached
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