Tuesday

25th Sep 2018

EU foreign service moves into new home

  • The inner courtyard (Photo: Atelier de Genval)

Foreign relations staff have quietly started moving into their new home on the Schuman roundabout in the EU quarter in Brussels.

A big padlock still hangs on the main door and light construction work is going on inside.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The interior has a plain look (Photo: EUobserver)

But about 250 European External Action Service (EEAS) officials have shifted from various European Commission buildings in the past 10 days, with another 25-or-so trickling in each day. The premises will house 1,300 staff and EEAS chief Catherine Ashton when everybody is in by the end of May or June.

A few hundred people - the civilian and military crisis planning departments and the intelligence-sharing unit, SitCen - will stay permanently in their old premises, the so-called Kortenberg building and the Ecole Royale Militaire, close by.

"Instead of being split across seven buildings, EEAS will be regrouped in three ... It will facilitate contacts between the staff members. This will also reinforce the team spirit and the corporate identity of the EEAS," Ashton spokesman Micheal Mann said.

The new headquarters will have its own press conference room and a special area for handling and storing secure communications.

SitCen and the crisis management staff are staying put in part because security levels are better in their old premises. As things stand, security in the Ashton building is soft - people can come in without showing a badge or going through a scanner and are free to wander about inside.

The look of the headquarters is plain, with basic blue carpet tiles and bare white walls.

Unlike some other EU buildings which are named after famous Europeans, it will be called simply "EEAS." The foreign service has also scrapped the architects' original scheme of naming the six parts of the bloc after the capitals of the six founding EU countries.

The EU is leasing the 50,000 square metre premises from Belgian insurance and real estate company Axa for €12 million a year.

It chose it back in October 2010 and had originally planned to get everyone in by April 2011.

Ashton set to take new office in EU nerve centre

The EU is in advanced talks to lease the so-called Triangle building in Brussels for its new diplomatic service, with Catherine Ashton's likely new digs to overlook comings and goings in the EU Council and European Commission.

News in Brief

  1. UN chief: World suffering from 'trust deficit disorder'
  2. Stalemate in Sweden as parliament ousts prime minister
  3. Migrant rescue ship heading to French port
  4. EU angry at British tabloids on Brexit
  5. UK to allow EU flights in no-deal Brexit
  6. Greek reporters arrested after story on 'mishandled' EU funds
  7. Austrian minister urges police to out foreign sex offenders
  8. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses
  2. Russian with Malta passport in money-laundering probe
  3. Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
  4. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  5. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  6. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  7. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  8. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us