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Two official appointments to the Diplomatic Service

Cathy Ashton has just confirmed two new names in the diplomatic service. These names will not really be unknown to readers of this blog because we announced it previously (1). They are the British Robert Cooper and the Italian Agostino Miozzo.

Robert Cooper at the signing of Montenegro's participation agreement with Atalanta (credit: Council of the European Union)

robert cooper is appointed as advisor to the diplomatic service. It is not officially written. But he will be placed close to the High Representative, responsible for ensuring strategic planning (a function he already exercised at the Forein Office). Some might say that this will be the High Representative's eye on the diplomatic service. In a way, this formalizes the role he has played for several months in assisting the High Representative in setting up the structures of the diplomatic service.

By choosing Robert Cooper, Cathy Ashton is not wrong. The man has experience, influence and intelligence and knows the house like the back of his hand. Since 2002, he has worked at the Council of the European Union, most recently as Director General for Political-Military and External Affairs. British diplomat – Robert Cooper joined the Foreign Office in 1970, at the age of 23, after studying at Worcester College (in Oxford) and schooling at Nairboi in Kenya. He serves in various posts in New York, Tokyo, Brussels and Bonn. He also served as head of Policy Planning from 1989 to 1993 at the Foreign Office, and even had a stint in the Cabinet Office as assistant secretary for Defense and Overseas Affairs. He ended his British career as Tony's lightning special representative in Afghanistan, at a key moment in 2001-2002 just after the American intervention.

He is an ideologue (in the literal sense of the word). He wrote several political essays, such as The Post-Modern State (2002) where he describes the doctrine of the new liberal imperialism which nourishes Tony Blair in his politics of “New Labour” and where he classifies countries into “failed states”, “modern states”, “postmodern states”. He reiterated a year later with "The Breaking of Nations. Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Centur".

Agostino Miozzo is appointed as “Managing Director”. He will be responsible for Crisis Response. His profile is already abundantly described (2). His portfolio, however, is not exactly defined. Its essential role will be to avoid the vacuum of a year ago in Haiti between civil protection which remains managed at the European Commission under the authority of K. Georgieva and civil-military means, such as SitCen or the CMPD. But it seems that he will not have authority over crisis management as such (the means of European defense). The structures of European Defense could in fact be placed under the authority of Deputy Secretary Maciej Popowski.

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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).