Formally launched on 1 January 2011, the Service was created by the Treaty of Lisbon which was signed in 2007 and entered into force in late 2009, established the European External Action Service.
The Lisbon Treaty also laid out the way the Service would be created:
"The organisation and functioning of the European External Action Service shall be established by a decision of the Council. The Council shall act on a proposal from the High Representative after consulting the European Parliament and after obtaining the consent of the Commission."
In 2010 some important steps were taken. On 25 March the HighRepresentative sent the Council a proposal on the establishment of the EEAS. The proposal, which followed long negotiations and discussions with the various services concerned, included detailed descriptions of how the EEAS would be composed, how its staff would be chosen and treated, and how the member states and other European institutions would be involved. The importance of the EEAS was also clear:
"It will help strengthen the European Union on the global stage, give it more profile, and enable it to project its interests and values more efficiently."
On 8 July 2010 the European Parliament passed a resolution approving this proposal whilst adding in their own comments concerning the appointing of staff, financing of foreign delegations and resolving potential disputes.
On 26 July 2010 the Council of the European Union adopted a decision that confirmed the proposal of the High Representative, with the European Parliament's amendments. The decision was effective immediately. The EEAS was officially launched on 1 January 2011.