Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, has appointed a top Austrian diplomat to represent the European Union at the United Nations in New York as part of a large round of appointments of European External Action Service (EEAS) envoys.
Ashton today announced the appointment of 25 heads and deputy heads of EU delegations around the world, 16 of which come from member states’ foreign services.
Thomas Mayr-Harting, currently Austria’s ambassador to the UN, will represent the EU at its headquarters in New York. Mayr-Harting has been Austria’s permanent representative to at the UN for the past three years. He was also president of the UN Security Council in 2009. The Austrian will replace Pedro Serrano, who has been acting head of the EU delegation in New York since January 2010.
Mayr-Harting will be supported by Ioannis Vrailas, a Greek diplomat, who has been appointed as deputy head of the EU’s delegation in New York. Vrailas is currently Greece’s deputy head of mission at its embassy in Washington, DC.
Jean-Maurice Ripert, a French diplomat, who is currently the UN’s special envoy for aid to Pakistan, has been appointed as head of the EU’s delegation to Turkey.
The appointments continue the build-up of the EEAS which started its work last year.
Name // Nationality // Previous diplomatic position // Title // Delegation location
Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austrian, member state), head of delegation, New York, USA
Gary Quince (British, European Commission, director for ACP countries,DG DEVCO), head of delegation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
Joao Cravinho (Portuguese, member state), head of delegation, New Dehli, India
Fransisco Sandomingo (Spanish ambassador to Peru, member state), head of delegation, Managua, Nicaragua
Jean-Maurice Ripert (French, member state), head of delegation, Ankara, Turkey
Margit Zanathyne Martin (Hungarian, member state), head of delegation to UN agencies in Vienna, Austria
Maria Van Gool (Dutch ambassador to Romania), head of delegation, Bógota, Colombia
Jean-Michel Dumond (French ambassador to Nigeria), head of delegation, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Paola Amadei (Italian, head of EEAS delegation in Eritrea), head of delegation, Kingston, Jamaica
Maeve Collins, (Irish ambassador to Vietnam), deputy head of delegation, Tokyo, Japan
Richard Jones (British, member state), head of delegation, Bern, Switzerland
Detlev Brauns (Germany, member state), deputy head of delegation, World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi (Italian, head of division for west Africa, EEAS), head of delegation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tomas Ulincy (Czech, member state), head of delegation, Khartoum, Sudan
Franz Jessen (Danish, head of division for China, EEAS), head of delegation, Hanoi, Vietnam
Traian Hristea (Romanian ambassador to Ukraine), head of delegation, Yerevan, Armenia
Jean-Francois Cautain (French, EEAS), head of delegation, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Abdoul M’Baye (French, EEAS), head of delegation, Suva, Fiji
Maria Spatolisano (Italian, DG Trade, European Commission), head of delegation, Paris, France
Stella Zervoudaki (Greek, EEAS), head of delegation, Guatemala, Guatemala
Ropert Kopecky (Czech ambassador to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan), head of delegation, Georgetown, Guyana
Laurence Argimon-Pistre (French, head of EEAS delegation to OECD and UNESCO), head of delegation, Rome, Italy
Aurelia Bouchez (French, member state), head of delegation, Astana, Kazakhstan
Ioannis Vrailas (Greek, member state), deputy head of delegation, New York, USA
Alain Holleville (French ambassador to Niger), head of delegation, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Ashton said the appointments reflected goals to make sure all member states were fairly represented as well as achieving a gender balance. Top posts, as head of delegation or as deputy head, are now spread among 24 of 27 member states. Only 31 of 149 management positions at EU delegations are held by women, however.
Ashton said that was “not good enough” adding she was “determined to make further progress” on a fair balance in coming recruitments.
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Ingeborg Grässle, a German centre-right MEP who is a member of the European Parliament’s budgetary control committee, criticised today’s appointments, saying that they were a “payback for inadequate German personnel policy” in European foreign policy.
Grässle said only one German national, a deputy head of delegation, was appointed in today’s round. She contrasted how France had done, with three national diplomats and four French nationals from the EEAS and the European Commission being appointed heads of delegation. Italy, the UK and Greece each had two heads of delegation, she said.
Grässle also accused Ashton of using “different criteria” for appointments. She said that officials from EU institutions had found it harder than officials from national administrations to be appointed to senior positions. She noted that 16 of the 25 heads of delegation posts appointed today had been filled by officials from member states compared to 13 out of 29 a year.
The MEP also noted that Ashton was creating a higher proportion of senior posts in the EEAS than in the EU institutions. She said that 7.7% of posts in the EEAS were at director level compared to an average of 3.4% in the European Commission. Posts at director-general level accounted for 3.4% of posts in the EEAS compared to 1.6% in the Commission, according to Grässle.
She did, however, acknowledge that Ashton had acted on her promise to increase the number of women appointed to senior posts in the EEAS.