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The High Representative

The EU's foreign policy is guided by the principles which inspired its creation – democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for human dignity, and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.

The EU is represented in foreign affairs by its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This post is currently held by Federica Mogherini.

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The High Representative is charged with coordinating and carrying out the EU's foreign and security policy, known as the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Her role is wide-ranging, and in order to bring together all functions of the EU that relate to foreign policy she also holds the post of Vice-President of the European Commission. She:

- Leads the EU's foreign policy;

- Coordinates the EU’s foreign policy tools such as development assistance, trade, humanitarian aid and crisis response, and reports to the Commission president about geopolitical developments

- Attends regular meetings with leaders of Member States at the European Council, which steers EU foreign policy;

- Builds consensus between the Member States, and with them defines EU foreign policy at monthly Foreign Affairs Council meetings with EU foreign ministers, which she chairs;

- Represents the EU at international fora, such as the United Nations;

- Heads the European Defence Agency and the EU Institute for Security Studies.


The High Representative is assisted by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU's diplomatic service, which incorporates experts from Member States' diplomatic services as well as EU officials. It is headquartered in Brussels and has Delegations (Embassies) around the world, including the Delegation of the EU to Japan in Tokyo.


Updated 2015.05.11