The new High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) have emerged after the Lisbon Treaty as a potential driving force in European foreign policy. This article critically reviews the first two years of the existence of the EEAS to find out whether these new players have managed to shape the direction of the European Union's (EU) external activities. Building on a typology of agenda-setting strategies in the EU developed by Princen , it successively examines how the HR and the EEAS have been trying to build credibility' and to gain attention' for their priorities. The empirical analysis shows that priority has been given to addressing the credibility challenge', with a particular emphasis on capacity-building. The strategies of mobilizing partners and arousing interest through framing still leave scope for improvement.