News BlogEEAS High Representative

“Americas” and “Russia-Balkans” directors appointed

(BRUSSELS2) Appointments to the diplomatic service are made slowly. After the management quartet, its first advisor and the first of the 7 managing directors (directors of the EU diplomatic service department), Cathy Ashton, the High Representative, announced today the appointments of two new managing directors ” for the “Russia, Balkans and neighborhood policy” and “Americas” departments of the diplomatic service (EEAS). Names which will in no way surprise loyal readers of “Brussels2”.

Miroslav Lajcak (Slovakia): director of the Russia, Balkans and neighborhood policy department.

He is not unknown in the European sphere and a fine connoisseur of the Balkans who arrives at this position. Lajčák was special envoy to Bosnia-Herzegovina from 2007 to 2009 and then his country's foreign minister until the defeat of the populist left and right coalition.

Born in 1963 in Poprad in eastern Slovakia, near the high Tatra mountains, he began a diplomatic career in Czechoslovakia in 1988. He was ambassador to Moscow from 1991 to 1993, then to Japan from 1994 to 1998 and finally to Belgrade, Albania and Macedonia from 2001 to 2005. He was also chief of staff of Minister of Foreign Affairs Jozef Moravčík from 1993 to 1994.

Read also: Lajcak: the contradictions of the international community in Bosnia

Christian Leffler (Sweden / European Commission): Director of the Americas Department

Born in Gothenburg (Sweden) in 1955. After a degree in politics and international relations at the London School of Economics and three years of doctoral studies at the Institute for International Studies in Geneva, he joined the Swedish diplomatic service in 1980. Posted in Cairo and Paris, followed by five years in the Department of Political Affairs in Stockholm, he moved to 1991 in Brussels at the Swedish delegation to the European Commission. He participated in the negotiations for accession and became the first Swedish “Antici” after accession. In 1996, he moved to the “other side of the street” as “Antici” for the European Commission as “Antici” and head of the unit at the General Secretariat of the Commission responsible for coordination. In September 1999, he moved to the office of the commissioner responsible for external relations, the British Chris Patten. In 2002, he took over the Mediterranean Middle East directorate of DG Relex before becoming, in 2007, chief of staff to Swedish Commissioner Margot Wallström (in charge of institutional relations and communication). Until today he was Deputy Director General of DG Development.

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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).