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What the European Commission does in international relations

Principal roles in international relations

The European Commission plays a key role in the design of development policy and delivering aid worldwide. Internationally, it helps to negotiate development cooperation agreements and is represented on the ground by EU delegations around the world.

International development and aid

The European Commission is responsible for designing European development policy and delivering aid throughout the world as effectively as possible.

It also ensures that the EU is represented internationally in development policy matters and in negotiating agreements on international development issues. To this end, it works closely with or within international organisations such as the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and in informal groupings such as the Group of Seven (G7) and the Group of Twenty (G20).

Find out more about how the Commission plans and prioritises development aid.


The European Union is represented by EU delegations and offices around the world. Delegations are diplomatic missions and are usually responsible for one country, although some are representatives to several countries. Through EU delegations and offices the European Commission maintains contact with local authorities and populations around the globe.

EU delegations

Other countries' missions to the EU

Countries from around the world are represented in the EU through diplomatic missions accredited to the European Union.

List of diplomatic missions to the EU