Catherine Ashton to step down as EU foreign policy chief by end of 2014
Catherine Ashton, high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
"The European Union foreign policy chief has announced
her intention to step down when her term in office expires at the end of 2014.
"There's no possibility of having a second term and it needs to go to someone else next … In any event, you lay the foundations but there are people who can do things with this that probably I couldn't do, so it'll be good to hand it over", Ashton told the German Marshall Fund on 16 March.
Ashton was appointed as high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the period from 1 December 2009 until the end of the current term of office of the Commission in 2014.
Ashton will be remembered for putting in place the European External Action Service (EEAS). According to the Lisbon Treaty, the EEAS is independent from other institutions, although its head is also Commission vice president.
And this adds to assumptions that the UK’s spying apparatus is using the inexperienced Ashton to run over the EU foreign policy. Veteran EU diplomats firmly believe that Lady Ashton's deputy Cooper is acting as the EU's shadow foreign policy chief. Cooper is a close friend of the MI6 chief John Sawers"... (farmer:...and Javier Solana).