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External relations

The EU countries work together on the international stage through the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy. The Commission has an important role in conducting the EU’s external trade policy. Nearby countries are included in the European Neighbourhood Policy or bodies linked to the EU like the European Economic Area or European Free Trade Association.

Much of the EU’s foreign policy and external relations are conducted by the European External Action Service. This influences EU-USA relations which have resulted in a draft trade deal, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It also works with developing countries in Africa and the Caribbean, often through signing Economic Partnership Agreements.