Diplomatic Training and the Challenges Facing the EEAS

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Author: Simon Duke 1
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  • 1 European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht, The Netherlands

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Following a difficult birth, the European External Action Service (EEAS) is now a much scrutinized reality. Much of the analysis has concentrated on its quasi-institutional nature, its relations with the principal external action actors in the European Union and beyond, as well as the question of its legal capacity. Relatively little attention, however, has been paid to the important training dimensions, which are critical to the smooth development of the Service, especially considering the disparate backgrounds of EEAS constituents. This article argues that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the training dilemma. Differentiation rather than standardization, within the constraints of a programme (rather than a full-blown European Diplomatic Academy), will be the salient features of the first years of training in the EEAS. It is also argued that training can be a key strategic tool for the Service’s development and, more generally, the external relations of the EU itself.

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