Understanding how the EU makes decisions that impact on its relations with non-EU governments and institutions outside the Brussels matrix is essential.

The European External Action Service is responsible for the running of the 139 EU Delegations and Offices around the world. The EEAS is divided into both geographical and thematic directorates. The EEAS also has important Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) planning and crisis response departments. The EU Military Staff is the source of collective military expertise within the EEAS and also advises the High Representative / Vice-President on military and security issues, especially as the EU seeks to build a stronger, more coherent policy on defence. The European Defence Agency will also play an increased role in this new paradigm, in cooperation with or in competition to NATO, which remains to be seen.

Avisa Partners has advised several clients from outside the EU on how to engage with the EEAS, the European Commission, the European Parliament, NATO, and the European Defence Agency to enhance their understanding of the EU’s working methods and decision making, or to assist them in negotiating agreements with the EU. We have provided both legal and political expertise, something that our External Relations clients can attest to.

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