EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission and EU member states are in the middle of a nasty scrap over who is to have the most influence on Europe's new diplomatic corps.
Talks between the EU executive and national diplomats over the organisation of the External Action Service (EAS) took a combative turn last week after the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, Catherine Ashton, circulated in Brussels a series of "vision papers" - seen by EUobserver - on the new institution.
One source close to the discussions described them as "very frosty, pretty tense," with the commission representatives saying the Ashton documents seemed to offer a leading role for the Council of Ministers, representing the member states.
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Member states and EU commission clash over diplomatic service (1)