The European External Action Service was established by decision of the Council of Ministers on 26 July 2010 based on a proposal by the former High Representative Catherine Ashton. The European Parliament had earlier adopted a resolution on the proposal by a large majority on 8 July 2010. The EEAS was formally launched on 1 January 2011.
The European Union and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 10 June signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the first of its kind. The EPA with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland - i.e. the so-called "SADC EPA group" is a development-oriented free trade agreement.