Blog AnalysisEEAS High Representative

Ashton appoints its representatives in the working groups

(BRUSSELS2) In the entire field of external relations, it is now a delegate of Cathy Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union, who will be responsible for chairing the various working groups and committees of the Council of the EU. We already knew the president of the main committee, the COPS, Political and Security Committee (1). The other names are now known. All that remains to be appointed is the representative to COEST for Eastern Europe and to CONOP for non-proliferation, as well as the advisor Nicolaidis which prepares COPS decisions. These names should be known in January.

This provision is particularly important. Because it is in these forums that most of the important decisions in terms of foreign policy and common defense are debated and drafted. Where the blocking points are discovered, compromises are outlined and agreements are reached. Committees which still operate under the seal of discretion and secrecy. The two crisis management appointments are, in my opinion, “good” appointments.

crisis management

Civil crisis management (CivCom): Mika Markus Leinonen (Finland/EUC).

Born on May 7, 1963 in Vanaja (Finland), he was the Finnish representative at CivCom from 2004 to 2007, and president of the Committee during the Finnish presidency of the EU in the second half of 2 and today director at DG E IX of the Council for Civilian Crisis Management. He is therefore a perfect expert on the subject. Graduated with a master's degree in political science from the University of Turku (2006), he embarked on a diplomatic career in Finland in 1989. He was first secretary at the embassy of Santiago de Chile (1990-1991), then in Finland. (1994-1994), responsible for Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee at the Finnish representation at NATO (1995-1998), permanent European correspondent (in charge of coordinating the CFSP) at headquarters in Helsinki (1998-2000), during the first Finnish presidency of the European Union. Crisis management then becomes his permanent occupation. He was at the crisis management unit of the Council (2000-2004), then Finnish representative at CivCom, during the second Finnish presidency, director of the crisis management unit at the ministry in Helsinki and finally, from November 2007, director at DGE IX in charge of civil crisis management at the Council.

Politico-military group (PMG): Bert Versmessen (Belgium). He is the current president of the group. He is in fact responsible for politico-military issues at the Belgian permanent representation to the EU. A graduate of the Catholic University of Louvain, and the College of Europe (1994-1995), he is a diplomat, entering his career in September 1997. He was stationed notably in Budapest (Hungary) and Damascus (Syria). ).

Geographical committees

- Africa (COAFR): Fiona Lunny (Ireland).

Irish diplomat, stationed at the Permanent Representation to the European Union, responsible for development issues and Africa.

- Latin America (AMLAT): Rafael Gelabert-rotger (Spain/EC).

Head of horizontal issues in the “Latin America” department of DG Relex (European Commission).

– Asia (COASI): Boguslaw Majewski (Poland/EUC).

Journalist and diplomat. After studying journalism, he worked on Polish television in the years 1984-1989. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989, notably as head of press relations in Warsaw (he was twice spokesperson for the ministry) and in Washington. He was ambassador to Singapore between 2004 and 2008. Then joined the Council of the European Union in the “Asia” Task Force of the Political Unit and as head of the Asia unit in the External DG of the Council of the EU .

- Balkans (COWEB): Alix Everard (France/EUC).

European diplomat. Former Balkans advisor to the French permanent representation in Brussels and now political advisor to the CPCC (Civil Crisis Staff) responsible more specifically for the Balkans.

- Eastern Europe / Central Asia (COEST): ??

- Maghreb / ​​Machrek / Peace in the Middle East (COMAG/Mama-COMEP): John Gatt Rutter (Malta/EUC) and maja bozovic (Slovenia/EUC)

European diplomats. Both are part of the Middle East unit of the Council of the EU.

– Middle East / Gulf / Iran Iraq (COMEM/MOG) : Sophie Kisling (Denmark/EUC)

European diplomat. After studying at the University of Copenhagen (1970-1977), she joined the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she served for 26 years, until June 2004. She then became a European civil servant, in charge of foreign affairs issues. Iraq, Gulf countries and Yemen.

- Transatlantic Relations (COTRA): Alenka Zajc Freudenstein (Slovenia/EC)

Officer in charge of international relations at Unit C1 (United States / Canada) of DG Relex (European Commission).

Thematic committees

- Human Rights (COHOM): Engelbert Theuerman (Austria)

Austrian diplomat. Director of Human Rights at the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

- Arms control and Global Disarmament (CODUN): Clara Ganslandt (Sweden/EUC)

European diplomat, head of “coordination” unit at the DG for External Relations of the Council of the EU.

- Export of Conventional Arms (COARM): Fabio della Piazza (Italy/EUC)

Personal representative of the High Representative on Non-Proliferation. Specialist on the issue at the Council of the EU.

– Non-proliferation (CONOP): ??

(1) Read: A Swede at the head of the COPS

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).