The Role of the EU Delegation
What is the role of a Delegation of the European Union?
The Delegations of the European Union - of which there are more than 130 in the world - do not compete with the Embassies of the European Union Member States. They strictly complement each other.
The successive Treaties relating to the European Community and later to the European Union (EU), and subsequent secondary European Community legislation and decisions by the Member States of the EU, determine the areas and subjects where competency has been transferred from the Member States to the EU, of which the European Commission is the executive branch. Embassies of EU Member States and EU Delegations are bound by the same distribution of competences.
Immediately relevant competences of the EU – and without being exhaustive - are : the negotiation, implementation, and further development of the EU’s trade policy, be it bilateral or multilateral; the EU’s customs policy; the EU’s agricultural policy; the EU’s environmental policy; the EU’s consumer protection policy; the EU’s cooperation and humanitarian assistance policy; the EU’s research policy; the EU’s migration and asylum policy; elements of the EU’s counter-terrorism policy.
The Delegations therefore, are also major providers and managers of external assistance: the EU budget sets a global amount of EU external assistance – which is additional to the bilateral external assistance of the Member states of the EU – in excess of 8 billion € (euro), including humanitarian assistance.
The Delegations of the European Union also play a role in the conduct of the Common Foreign and Security Policy providing regular political analysis, conducting evaluations jointly with EU Member States embassies and contributing to the policymaking process.
The Delegations of the European Union have a particular responsibility, together with the local Embassy of the 6-month rotating EU Presidency, to promote an effective, consistent and coherent performance of the European Union as a group in third countries. They are also well placed to promote the local projection of an image of the EU that correctly reflects facts, policies, statements, decisions taken by the EU. This includes a pro-active role in matters pertaining to local information and communication about the EU.
On the other hand - and like all embassies - the delegations monitor, analyse, interpret, report on developments in the host country in all areas relevant to EU interests and activities that range from policy and strategy formulation to decision making and implementation, with a view to factor local developments into the EU activities in relation to the host country, and beyond if appropriate.