The Great Debate UK

from Global News Journal:

Can a European diplomatic service really work?

As experiments in political unity go, Europe's External Action Service takes some beating.

The budding diplomatic corps of the European Union, with a name that sounds like an off-shoot of Britain's SAS, is supposed to represent the unified interests of the EU's 27 member states to the rest of the world.

With a staff expected to number 6,000, including 3,000 diplomats in more than 120 missions, setting up the EAS is akin to creating a high-powered, multi-lingual, global PR, trade and aid organisation almost overnight. It doesn't happen very often. And perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not very easy to do.

The person responsible for overseeing it is Britain's Catherine Ashton, a former hospital administrator and EU trade commissioner who is now the EU's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.