Special representatives of the EU Extension of mandates – New Representatives for the African Great Lakes and Moldova

The Council adopted today joint actions appointing new European Union special representatives (EUSRs) for the African Great Lakes region and for Moldova and extending – for some of them with amendments – the mandates of six other EUSRs.

The joint actions:

  • appoint:

Mr Roeland VAN DE GEER as EUSR for the African Great Lakes region from 1 March 2007 to 29 February 2008 (5246/07). He succeeds Aldo Ajello.

Mr Kбlmбn MIZSEI as EUSR for the Republic of Moldova as from 1 March 2007 to 29 February 2008 (5124/07). He succeeds Mr Adriaan Jacobovits de Szeged.

See Statements (S055/07 and S056/07) by EU High Representative Javier SOLANA welcoming the appointments.

  • Extend the mandates of:

the EUSR for Sudan, Mr Pekka HAAVISTO until 30 April 2007; and the EUSR for Afghanistan, Mr Francesc VENDRELL until 29 February 2008 (5125/07 and 5123/07);

  • extend and amend the mandates of:

the EUSR for Central Asia, Mr Pierre MOREL until 29 February 2008 (5332/07). His mandate is amended chiefly to take account of the objective of developing bilateral energy cooperation with important producer and transit partners in Central Asia;

the EUSRs for the South Caucasus, Mr Peter SEMNEBY (5128/07); for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr Marc OTTE (5127/07) and in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Erwan FOUЙRЙ (5126/07) until 29 February 2008. Their mandates are amended chiefly in order to contribute to the implementation of the EU human rights policy.



EU Special Representatives (EUSRs)

A voice and face of the EU in crucial areas

The European Union currently has nine Special Representatives (EUSRs) in different regions of the world.  The EUSRs promote EU policies and interests in troubled regions and countries and play an active role in efforts to consolidate peace, stability and the rule of law.

EU Special Representatives support the work of High Representative Solana in the regions concerned. They play an important role in the development of a stronger and more effective EU common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and in the EU’s efforts to become a more active, more coherent and more capable actor. They provide the EU with an active political presence in key countries and regions, where they are to a large extent a “voice” and a “face” of the EU and its policies.

The nine EUSRs currently in place cover the following regions: the Middle East, the Great Lakes, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, the South Caucasus, Moldova, Central Asia and Sudan. In addition, the EU foresees the appointment of an EUSR in Kosovo as part of the post-status arrangements.[1] Some EUSRs are resident in their country/region of activity, while others are working on a travelling basis from Brussels.  The first EUSRs were Aldo Ajello for the African Great Lakes region and Miguel Angel Moratinos for the Middle East peace process, both appointed (as EU “Special Envoys” back then) in 1996. The position of EUSRs has developed considerably since the appointment of Javier Solana as High Representative for CFSP.

An EUSR is appointed by the Council, through the legal act of a Joint Action, under Article 18 of the EU Treaty.[2]  The substance of an EUSR’s mandate depends on the political context. EUSRs focus on developing and carrying out an EU policy in the region. Where applicable, they provide political backing to ESDP (European security and defence policy) operations. EUSRs carry out their duties under the authority and operational direction of the High Representative. They are financed from the CFSP budget section of the EU budget. Member states contribute regularly e.g. by seconding staff members to EUSRs.

Some EUSRs are “double hatted”, for example the EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), who is the High Representative for BiH under the Paris/Dayton agreements, and the EUSR in the former Yugoslav Republic of Yugoslavia, who also heads the European Commission delegation there.


[1] An EU team was set up in September 2006 to contribute to preparations for a possible international civilian mission in Kosovo, including an EUSR component.

[2] “The Council may, whenever it deems it necessary, appoint a special representative with a mandate in relation to particular policy issues.”