chapter  27
Pages 9

The Davignon Report, variously adapted down the years, provided the framework for political co-operation among EC countries during the 1970s and 1980s. It proposed that foreign ministers should meet at least twice a year to discuss foreign policy matters. In practice, they now meet monthly, and more often at times of crisis. Nowadays both types of business are transacted at the same meeting. Under the Single European Act, which formalised political co-operation for the first time, a small secretariat was established in Brussels in 1987 to provide back-up support and ensure greater continuity in political co-operation. This presence grew over the years until the Lisbon treaty created the European External Action Service (EEAS) with aspirations to become a virtual EU foreign ministry. The Lisbon treaty in 2009 renamed the ESDP as the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), broadening its scope and context.