It has now been almost two years since the Treaty of Lisbon took effect. The time was characterized by an intensive and controversial discussion between the European Union (EU) institutions and member states on the setup of arguably the most important institutional innovation besides the new post of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR): the European External Action Service (EEAS).The EEAS has the purpose of serving its head, HR Ashton, in fulfilling her tasks of, inter alia, conducting the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and increasing the efficiency and coherence of EU external relations. Regarding hither to the execution of EU foreign policy, the HR admitted in the run-up to the establishment of the EEAS that “the EU can be too slow, too cumbersome and too bureaucratic”1. With the setup of the new diplomatic service the EU wished to overcome occurring difficulties that result out of the complex net of responsibilities that characterise the external relations of the EU and thus ‘give the EU a stronger voice around the world, and greater impact on the ground’2.Given the fact that the EEAS constitutes a whole new de facto institution without predecessor and was therefore built from scratch,it is very interesting from a political scientist point of view to see where and how the new service is positioned in the institutional architecture of the EU system. Since the EEAS was ought to bring together rather intergovernmental (e.g. CFSP) and supranational (e.g. development cooperation) policy spheres of EU external action, a discussion on how it can be scrutinized by grand theories of European integration seems to offer valuable insights.In section 2 this research paper first takes a deeper look at two of the most influential grand theories of European integration, neofunctionalism and intergovernmentalism. Basic assumptions and logics of the two approaches will be used to build indicators with which the overall research question of the analysis will be assessed: ¿can the two grand theories explain the institutional setup of the newly established EEAS? The empirical examination of the topic,which will mainly be based on the relevant treaty provisions and the existing decisions and reports of the EU institutions on the EEAS, follows in section 3 of the paper. Furthermore, findings of various academic articles that dealt with the EEAS in the last two years are taken into account. A conclusion summarizes the results of the analysis in section 4.