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Curious combination of functions for Mr. Lajcak who became Minister

(B2) Curious gender combination that Miroslav Lajcak is currently making, who has just resigned from his post as EU Special Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina to take up the role of Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs, but formally continues to fulfill its former function. As a result, when he speaks as Minister, his words take on a slightly confused tone. We no longer really know who is speaking. And the impartiality expected of a position of EU Special Representative has been compromised. It is not – strictly speaking – a question of a legal or ethical problem (neither one nor the other seems to me to be affected) but of a certain credibility of European foreign policy. We may wonder – even if it is not an ideal system – whether a system of replacement should not be found to compensate for this type of absence of an EU Special Representative (in the absence of a permanent substitute, this role could devolve to the Chief of Civil Staff, the director of the CPCC).

Anti-missile shield, Kosovo, Lajcak's remarks are little in line with the majority position of the EU... In the interview he has just given to our Slovak colleagues from SME:, Lajcak gives the first directions of what his policy could be at the head of Slovak diplomacy. A tone, quite Atlanticist, logical for his country – Slovakia. He thus supports the policy of installing the anti-missile shield among his Czech and Polish neighbors, “accept the agreement (bilateral) passed with the United States”. But believes that this system should “be part of NATO's collective security“. It reiterates the foreign policy position of not recognizing Kosovo's independent status. On the other hand, he says nothing about the desire displayed by Slovakia not to ratify the international convention on cluster munitions (not ratified also by Finland *). Even if he remains quite cautious about the situation, he does not mince his words on the contradictions of the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina (see next article).

Selection process underway, Lajcak replaced on Monday? Several candidates of different nationalities (Italian, Greek,
Austrian, Estonian, British, etc.) have been heard (or are being heard) by a selection panel led by the Czech ambassador to the EU Policy and Security Committee (PSC) and members of the secretariat of the Council (Solana cabinet, CCPC, etc.). This selection process should culminate in the COPS meeting on Friday. The panel will present the different candidates and their evaluation. And the decision should be made by the 27 ambassadors. The decision should then be ratified without debate by Ministers at the External Affairs Council on Monday (February 23), as point A. The EU special representative also serving as High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia ( OHR), Russia and the United States are associated with the decision. “They are kept informed” Council is told “but do not take part in the decision”. Well, a little bit all the same...


(*) The Slovak Ministry of Defense reported in early February the lack of budget to both destroy existing stockpiles and replace cluster bombs with another type of
ammunition. This replacement cannot be done, according to him, at the earliest until the years 2016 – 2020.

 (photo credit: Council of the EU)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).