Holidays are over now and we are all back at work in the EU institutions. But while we took our holidays one after another, we have also worked hard on the setting up of the EEAS and its website and lots of work is still ahead of us. Below some figures and information about this process.
The Lisbon Treaties foresees the creation of the European External Action Service, abbreviated as EEAS, under the responsibility of the High Representative (HR) Catherine Ashton. Consequently, our web team in the European Commission’s External Relations’ department (RELEX) has started the website http://eeas.europa.eu/. This domain situates itself on an equal footing between the Commission’s domain http://ec.europa.eu/ and the EU Council’s domain http://consilium.europa.eu/. In January 2010, the press service of the Council, the spokesperson for the HR and the RELEX communication unit agreed to use the eeas.europa.eu domain as the focal point for information about the HR and the EEAS and its building up. The external relations web team has since then prepared the ground for migrating all relevant and concerned web content from the Council and Commission websites to this domain. This involves all the country pages on the external relations and development websites, policy pages on the external relations website, the EU delegations’ websites and a large number of Council pages plus the creation of a number of new pages about the EEAS itself, for example. For the European Commission’s external relations and development websites this mounts to approx. 8500 web documents. We still need to estimate for the Council how many web documents need to be transferred but I guess it will be several thousand pages. An estimated 2000 web documents (new pages, translations) will have to be created de novo. Add to all this the delegations’ websites with an estimated 60,000 web documents in place by the end of the year.
This process is now well underway and by the end of September all country pages as well as the external relations policy pages will have moved to the eeas domain. Each move implies a series of technical operations to close down existing ones, moving content into the eeas domain, resetting parameters for the new layout, etc. We are preparing for a much more user friendly homepage and better navigation which will appear together with the new visual identity that is being developed for the EEAS. This new layout and identity will have to replace the existing temporary one on the eeas.europa.eu site. We expect to be able to move a large number of Council documents in October and November, followed by the final move of the delegations’ websites around the launching of the EEAS on the 1st of December 2010.