Some predict the emergence of a European diplomatic service and the gradual marginalisation of national foreign ministries and their networks. For others, the presence of the European Commission on the world stage is a diplomatic aberration – a view reﬂected in a comment by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. In reply to a question on European Union Commission delegations, he observed that ‘sometimes you ﬁnd all sort of odd-bods from the EU running all sorts of odd ofﬁces around the world’.
European Diplomacy: Europe Raises its Voice
European Union countries have something like four times as many diplomats as the United States. With a report on the Union’s own overseas representation to be discussed in June, some are asking whether separate national foreign services are good value. Is the new constitution on the verg of creating a European foreign ministry?