Thursday

17th Aug 2017

Ashton chooses €12-million-a-year EU headquarters

  • The Axa building (c) will be the face of the EEAS for visiting VIPs (Photo: wikipedia.com)

The EU's new diplomatic service is to be housed in the so-called Axa or Triangle building on the Rond Point Schuman in the heart of the EU quarter in Brussels.

"After consultations with member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission, the high representative/vice-president Catherine Ashton has decided that the European External Action Service should be housed in the so-called Axa/Triangle building as this proves to be the most cost-efficient and effective solution," her spokesman, Darren Ennis told this website on Wednesday (27 October).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EUobserver understands that Ms Ashton aims to sign the contract in the coming weeks and to start moving in staff in early 2011 with a view to being fully installed by April.

The European External Action Service [EEAS] is to be formally launched on 1 December at a ceremony in the lobby of the Axa building, which is already home to the EU institutions' recruitment service, EPSO, and a handful of coffee and sandwich shops.

EEAS secretary general, Pierre Vimont, will start work on the same day. Its budget and personnel chief, David O'Sullivan, will start on 15 November, but the pair will initially sit next to Ms Ashton's existing office on the 12th floor of the commission's headquarters, the Berlaymont building, across the road from the Axa bloc.

Ms Ashton had asked the European Council to make way for her people in its so-called Lex building, across a busy road from the commission, but received a No in response. A second option, the commission's Charlemagne building, one side lane away from the EU executive headquarters, could have taken over a year to kit out properly.

The EEAS will pay €12 million a year in rent for 50,000 square metres of space. EU officials are keen to point out that the cost of existing arrangements, under which EEAS-to-be staff are housed in eight separate buildings in the EU capital, is €25 million a year and that Axa, a Belgian insurance and real estate firm, gave Ms Ashton one year's worth of free tenancy to seal the agreement.

The Triangle building is divided into six chunks, each one named after the capital of one of the six founding EU countries.

The swankiest office space is on the seventh floor of the Hague wing, overlooking the EU Council and the commission on the Schuman roundabout, and in the Luxembourg wing, overlooking the leafy Parc du Cinquantenaire.

"This side is much more beautiful. But the other side is better if she likes to oversee where everyone is going," an Axa spokeswoman told EUobserver during a tour of the bloc in August.

Letter

Unsubstantiated tittle-tattle from anonymous 'sources'

Your article "Staff leaving EU diplomatic service amid bad working conditions" is riddled with inaccuracies and appears to be based entirely on unsubstantiated tittle-tattle from anonymous 'sources'.

Europeans more optimistic about EU since Brexit vote

Perceptions of the EU have increased significantly in France, and Europeans generally feel more optimistic about the future of the bloc since last autumn - despite Brexit and a surge in populism.

Investigation

Inside the Code of Conduct, the EU's most secretive group

The informal group of national officials that is in charge of checking EU countries' tax laws is now working on the first EU blacklist of tax havens, amid critiques over its lack of transparency and accountability.

Opinion

Setting course for strong and focused EU

From strengthening the internal market to completing the energy union, the prime ministers of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland set out their vision for the EU.

Europeans more optimistic about EU since Brexit vote

Perceptions of the EU have increased significantly in France, and Europeans generally feel more optimistic about the future of the bloc since last autumn - despite Brexit and a surge in populism.

News in Brief

  1. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  2. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  3. Russian power most feared in Europe
  4. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  5. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  6. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns
  7. Danish police to investigate misuse of EU fishing rules
  8. German constitutional court questions ECB's €2tn spending

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides