The EU’s reach across the world is unparalleled. 139 EU delegations work in close cooperation with diplomatic services (embassies, consulates) of the EU member states and third countries.
Our membership of the EU gives us a powerful set of voices and an important support network for Scots abroad.
Scots, like many other Europeans, want to see a European Union that tackles poverty, inequality, crises and war in an effective way. Constituents write to us on a daily basis asking us to do more to help people in need whether in Scotland, Calais, Gaza, or Syria.
Did you know?
When asked in a recent Eurobarometer Survey, 70% of UK respondents agreed that aid for developing countries contributes to a more peaceful and equal world.
Unlike many EU member states, the EU is a ‘soft power’ meaning that there is no EU-wide military force. Diplomacy therefore shapes how EU foreign policy is designed and implemented across the world.
This gives the EU a unique voice on the international stage. EU action against capital punishment, international crises and humanitarian disasters is consistently voiced in the international sphere.
EU-wide foreign policy can only be conducted when there is agreement between all the member states but this means that when the EU does act, it can have a significant impact. The EU's foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, conducts the policies agreed by the member states through the European External Action Service.