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High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The post of the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy was originally created under the Amsterdam Treaty. The first holder was Javier Solana, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union. The Lisbon Treaty maintains the function of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Federica Mogherini was appointed to the post for the 2014-2020 period. She succeeds Catherine Ashton who held the post between 2009 and 2014.

The High Representative conducts the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including the Common Security Defence policy, presides over the Foreign Affairs Council and is one of the vice-presidents of the European Commission. She ensures the consistency of the EU's external action. She is in charge, within the Commission, of responsibilities incumbent to her mission in external relations and of coordinating other aspects of the EU's external action.

The High Representative is appointed by the European Council acting by a qualified majority, with the agreement of the President of the Commission for a mandate of 5 years.

In carrying out her mission, the High Representative is supported by the European External Action Service. This Service works in cooperation with EU countries' diplomatic services. It comprises officials and agents from the EU, as well as personnel seconded from national diplomatic services.