It seems that the lady can't win. She has been criticized "in a confidential discussion paper signed by the 12 foreign ministers and sent to Ashton last month", to which she has replied in a report on the first year of her ever increasing empire:
Ashton acknowledges problems in the division of roles between the EEAS, launched one year ago this week, and the European Commission. She concedes that there have been serious transitional and structural problems with the EU's 140 delegations abroad. She notes the need to improve policy formulation and delivery, but provides no details as to how she will do so.Whether her self-defence will satisfy her critics remains to be seen. My suspicion is no and they will have to make a decision on whether they will just put up with expensive incompetence or get somebody who will spend as much money if not more (not that the colleagues care about that) and become rather a nuisance to the various foreign ministers. This is quite interesting, however:
The foreign ministers – including Alain Juppé of France, Guido Westerwelle of Germany, Radoslaw Sikorski of Poland and Carl Bildt of Sweden – said they had “a major interest in a strong and efficient EEAS” and wanted “to help it develop its full potential”. William Hague, Britain's foreign secretary, did not endorse the paper and its implicit criticism of Ashton.It seems that Radoslaw Sikorski is not quite as eurosceptic as he sometimes tries to make out. Also one would like to know why our own Foreign Secretary refrained from signing the paper. Was it that he did not want to criticize la Ashton; was it that he did not agree with the sentiments expressed in it; or was it that he simply was not aware that this criticism was being put together?