The department for external action brings together all staff responsible for the five European Parliament committees for external relations:
- foreign affairs
- security and defence
- human rights
Apart from parliamentary support, the department publishes policy papers and organises debates with NGOs, specialists and the wider public in order to influence policies regarding the Middle East, trade negotiations (TTIP), relations with Africa and other topics.
In order to set up world-wide debates on international solidarity and the globalisation process, the S&D Group founded, together with friendly organisations, the Global Progressive Forum; its staff is also to be found in the department.