Foreign Ministries in National and European Context

  • David Spence
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy book series


This chapter focuses on two underlying themes of this book: the increasingly contested notion that foreign ministries, embassies and diplomats are the sole or the most apt defenders of national interests abroad and the issue of whether governments and foreign affairs administrations have reacted consciously and strategically to several fundamental changes to the diplomatic agenda.1 Diplomats are wont to stress the continuity rather than the change in the diplomat’s role,2 yet they are virtually all, nevertheless, engaged in reviews and studies which underline the fact that change is the order of the day. In the Member States of the EU, there is a distinct additional context to this change. A series of unparalleled new tasks and challenges for European foreign ministries have arisen as a result of two specific foreign ministry responsibilities: the coordination of domestic ministries’ affairs for EU business and participation in the European Common Foreign and Security Policy. This chapter describes and analyzes the developments involved.


Member State Foreign Policy Security Policy Foreign Ministry Lead Ministry 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • David Spence

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