The creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) was one of the key innovations introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. It aims at making the European Union's external action more coherent and efficient, thereby increasing the EU's influence in the world.
The EEAS builds upon the network of over 130 EU Delegations and Offices around the world. The EU Delegations also manage and implement EU development cooperation programmes in countries and regions, in close cooperation with the European Commission's DG DEVCO (Directorate-general Development Cooperation). This represents the largest part of EU development assistance.
Through action such as human rights dialogues and development assistance, the EEAS, the EU Delegations and the European Commission contribute to the promotion of the decent work agenda and the ratification and application of international labour standards.