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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Development groups say EEAS plans breach EU law

A coalition of development groups has said that a proposal for setting up the European External Action Service (EEAS) being considered by EU member states violates the provisions of the Lisbon treaty. Legal advice published by a group of development campaigners, on April 26th, suggests that the inclusion of development policy-making in the EEAS's remit runs counter to treaty provisions. According to the group, the Lisbon treaty gives the EEAS competence only for conducting the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. A memorandum prepared by White & Case LLP, a law firm, says that the proposal drafted by Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, and recently backed by EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg “cannot alter areas of competence as defined under the treaties, such as the ‘exclusive competence' of the Commission in development co-operation activities”. The coalition of development organisations consists of CIDSE, Oxfam International, APRODEV, CONCORD, EUROSTEP and One International.

Source: European Voice