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Monday, 02 November 2009

Poland sets out vision for EU diplomatic corps

Poland is keen for the EU's new diplomatic corps to be a unique type of institution, to take half its staff from national capitals and to gobble up parts of the European Commission's development department. The proposals were put forward in a two page-long paper dated 5 October and are currently doing the rounds in Brussels together with competing ideas from other member states. The Polish paper calls for the European External Action Service (EEAS) to be "a sui generis institution similar to an executive agency" instead of a normal EU institution such as the EU parliament or the commission itself. In terms of staff, 50% of personnel are to come from member states and 50% from the commission and from the Council, the Brussels-based secretariat which prepares EU member states' regular meetings. Despite staying out of development policy, the EEAS should poach the commission's experts on the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries which currently fall under the development portfolio, on top of the 6,000 or so commission staff who work in the foreign relations department.