The Making of the EU’s External Action Service: A Neorealist Interpretation

Michael Friederich Kluth, Jess Pilegaard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Using neorealism, this article provides a theoretically driven explanation of the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), with France and the United Kingdom providing the main thrust to compensate for their waning global influence. The transfer of authority from London and Paris to the EU makes sense when based on the expectation that the outlook of the coming EEAS will be closer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Quai d’Orsay than to the foreign policy institutions of lesser EU powers. Potential risks for Paris and London are limited, given their dominance of existing EU foreign policy institutions and their privileged position in supplying the EEAS with high-caliber staff.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Foreign Affairs Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)303-322
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2012

Cite this