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European External Action Service

The European External Action Service is the diplomatic service and combined foreign and defence ministry of the European Union. The EEAS is led by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, President of the Foreign Affairs Council and Vice-President of the European Commission, carries out the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, including the Common Security and Defence Policy; the EEAS does not propose or implement policy in its own name, but prepares acts to be adopted by the High Representative, the European Commission or the Council. The EEAS is in charge of EU diplomatic missions and intelligence and crisis management structures; the EEAS, as well as the office of the HR, was initiated following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009. It was formally established on 1 December 2010; the EEAS was formed by merger of the external relations departments of the European Commission and of the Council, which were joined by staff seconded from national diplomatic services of the Member States.

Although it supports both the Commission and the Council, the EEAS is independent from them and has its own staff, as well as a separate section in the EU budget. The EEAS and the European Defence Agency together form the Secretariat of the Permanent Structured Cooperation, the structural integration pursued by 25 of the 27 national armed forces of the EU since 2017; the EEAS was first included in the original European Constitution, a single EU external relations department was seen as necessary to support the proposed single HR post. Following the rejection of the Constitution, the changes were revived in the Treaty of Lisbon which came into force in 2009; the mandate for the External Action Service is laid down under article 13a-III of the Treaty of Lisbon, states the following: Shortly before the treaty came into force, Catherine Ashton was named HR and tasked with drawing up the structure of the new EEAS. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake Ashton chaired a meeting of the foreign policy actors across the Commission and member states to give a coordinated response to the disaster.

Although she refused to describe it as the first act of the external action service, Ashton did stress that it was the first time that such a co-ordination between all the various EU foreign policy actors had been accomplished before. Throughout the first half of 2010 Ashton fought for agreement between the Council and the Commission as to the future shape of the EEAS; the Commission wanted to retain as many of its existing competencies as possible while Parliament fought to gain as much oversight over the EEAS as possible by demanding scrutiny of appointments and budgets. Parliament removed the last hurdle to the plan on 8 July, when MEPs approved the service by 549 votes for and 78 against with 17 abstentions; the Council approved the transfer of departments to the EEAS on 20 July. Until the EEAS became operational, Ashton was only supported by around 30 people on a floor of the Berlaymont building; the EEAS was formally launched at the Commission headquarters in a low key event on 1 December 2010.

For organisation of the executive offices, see'senior posts' belowThe EEAS manages general foreign relations and defence policies and controls the Situation Centre. However, although the HR and the EEAS can prepare initiatives, member states make the final policy decisions and the Commission plays a part in technical implementation; the HR must report to the European Parliament. The EEAS would have desks dedicated to all the countries and regional organisations in the world, specialised units for democracy, human rights and defence; the EEAS has six geographical departments headed by a managing director. The departments divide the world into: 1) Africa, 2) Asia, 3) Americas, 4) the Middle East and Southern Neighbourhood, 5) Russia, the Eastern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans and 6) Global and Multilateral Affairs. Geographic desks are not duplicated in the Commission; the EEAS includes departments for security, strategic policy planning, legal affairs, inter-institutional relations and public diplomacy, internal audit and inspections, personal data protection.

Parts of the following departments have been transferred from the Commission or Council to the External Action Service: the Policy Unit, Directorate-General E, Officials of the General Secretariat of the Council on secondment to European Union Special Representatives and ESDP missions Directorate-General for External Relations, External Service, Directorate-General for Development. Staff is drawn from the Commission and Council and from the member states' diplomatic services, seconded temporarily; the HR appoints her own staff directly. There were no national quotas for the initial 1,100 staff members and a minimum of 33% was to be from member states; the rest are permanent officials drawn from the European Commission and the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union. This is in part due to the need to establish a common diplomatic culture, what has prompted calls for a European diplomatic academy. On 1 January 2011 the first staff were permanently transferred to the EEAS: 585 from the Commissions External Relations DG, 93 from the Commissions Development DG, 436 from the

Ministry of Culture and Sports (Greece)

The Ministry of Culture and Sports is the government department of Greece entrusted with preserving the country's cultural heritage, promoting the arts, overseeing sport through the subordinate General Secretariat for Sports. The incumbent minister is Lina Mendoni; the Deputy Minister for Sports is Lefteris Avgenakis. This ministry was established in 1971 as the Ministry of Culture and Science and it was renamed the Ministry of Culture on 26 July 1985. On 7 October 2009, it was merged with the Ministry of Touristic Development to form the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it ceased to exist on 21 June 2012, when the Ministry of Tourism was re-established and the culture portfolio was absorbed by the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs to form the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports. The Ministry of Culture and Sports was re-established on 25 June 2013. On 27 January 2015, it was again merged with the education ministry to form the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs.

On 23 September 2015, the education portfolios were restored as separate ministries. Ministry of Culture and Sports Lar's website