News BlogEEAS High Representative

EU Special Representatives extended. But not indefinitely.

(BRUSSELS2) The various EU special representatives around the world will be extended by six months or a year. Their mandates due to end at the end of August (1), the decision should be adopted by August 9 by written procedure by the EU ambassadors on behalf of the foreign ministers of the 27, on a proposal from the High Representative for the Foreign Affairs, Cathy Ashton.

Extension (provisional) for six months. The special representatives for Macedonia – Fyrom (the Irishman Fouéré), Moldova (the Hungarian Mizsei), Kosovo (the Dutchman Feith), the Middle East (the Belgian Otte), the South Caucasus (the Swede Semneby) do not will only be renewed for six months (until February 28, 2011). They may not be renewed at this time. The extension of the mandate for six months is not the most common procedure in fact. The objective of the High Representative is, in fact, ultimately, to end their mandate (2), to merge certain positions with the heads of EU embassies or the existence of other representatives at international level which more or less represent Europe. This is the case for the Middle East, where Tony Blair is a member of the Quartet, on behalf of the European Union.

Extension for 12 months. The other special representatives (Afghanistan (3), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Central Asia and Georgia, Great Lakes Region, Sudan, African Union) will be extended for one year (until August 31, 2011). With an unknown for Sudan, since its holder, the Dane Torben Brylle, leaves his post (for the national embassy in Vienna). His successor will have the delicate task of leading European policy in the midst of political turbulence, with the referendum on the autonomy of South Sudan (Juba).

Discussion to continue. The High Representative failed to convince member states to opt for a more radical option (and the more rapid elimination of certain positions). The slight delay in setting up the diplomatic service and the reluctance of member states to let go of one of their nationals without having the names selected for the other positions at stake explain this postponement. The negotiation on the positions will thus be global between the thirty EU ambassadors who must be renewed in September as well as the first heads of the diplomatic service (the top ten) who must be appointed in October. To be continued…

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(1) Read: EU special representatives confirmed, provisionally (+ portraits)

(2) Read: EU special representatives in the eye of the storm

(3) Recently appointed to this post, read: Lithuanian's appointment Usackas in Afghanistan confirmed

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).