A qualitative study of diplomatic experiences with the European External Action Service

Johanne Louise Venning Engell, Mads Boie Hvid, Mohamed Gassama, Maria Tammelin Gleerup, Elisabeth Bojsen Træden Larsen, Marie Cæcilie Falck-Rasmussen & Olga Szczepka

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project aims to investigate how the European diplomats in question perceive and articulate the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and its influence on diplomatic work. Due to the fact that EEAS is a fairly new institution the amount of available data is limited. Nevertheless, in order to answer the problem formulation, the authors use empirical findings from conducted interviews with chosen diplomats. Thus this project seeks to tell inside stories of how the EEAS has influenced diplomatic work in practice. To do so, it chooses to look at the European Union and the new External Action Service through the eyes of the International Society theory, originally developed by Hedley Bull. Findings suggest that the EEAS is mostly seen as weakly organized and not fully implemented service. Lack of clarity, concrete objectives, and strong leadership as well as limited career opportunities related to specific gender, nationality and institution rules are the most recognized problems. The EEAS is learning by doing and the biggest change, the EEAS brought, is on the practical level, especially stressing the changing role of the rotating presidency. On the other hand, the institutionalization of European foreign policy by creating the EEAS definitely brought up collective values and norms trying to create a single voice of Europe. The EEAS is now physically and politically more recognized in some third countries. Nevertheless, whether it has succeeded or not still remains a question with no clear answer, and its performance in the future will be a key to its legitimacy and prospects.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2012


  • Foreign Policy
  • Foreign Affairs
  • International Society
  • International system
  • Diplomacy
  • European Union
  • European External Action Service,
  • High Representative