The European External Action Service

Authored by: Laura Chappell

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and EU Politics

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138485259
eBook ISBN: 9781351049955
Adobe ISBN:


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One of the primary innovations within the Lisbon Treaty was the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS). The idea was to provide the EU with its own diplomatic service, ensuring coherence and efficiency in its external relations, an area that has seen rapid expansion since the creation of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in 1999. Not only is the EEAS there to ensure the EU speaks with a common voice in developing and implementing foreign, security and defence policies, but also to reflect the EU’s key values globally. Gender equality, considered a foundational EU norm (MacRae 2010), has been integrated into a variety of communitised policies. The question is whether the EEAS has been able to mainstream gender both internally in its own structures and externally in the external relations policies it creates, promotes and implements.

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