Croatian International Relations Review

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Wolfgang Koeth

Through the creation of a European External Action Service (EEAS) the EU has attempted to increase the consistency and visibility of its external action abroad. However, in the Western Balkans the im-pact of this new diplomatic service of the EU is not always obvious: EU enlargement, as the dominat-ing policy framework, remains outside the EEAS’ scope of competence. In Kosovo and Bosnia, with their strong CFSP dimension, synergies are still limited. Whereas the mutation of the EC Delegations into EU Delegations under the authority of the EEAS (but with a strong Commission component) had the benefit of raising the EU’s visibility in the Western Balkans, questions remain about internal coordination and the risk of a possible hijacking of the new service by member states. Although the EEAS can facilitate the streamlining the EU’s external action in the Western Balkans, such an outcome depends more on the behaviour of the actors involved than on institutional arrangements