Tag Archives: EEAS

EU: sharp disinformation tool

Brussels 24.10.2022 “It’s been eight months since Russia launched its full-scale aggression against Ukraine. Already a year ago, in autumn last year, the military build-up became obvious, as were efforts to lay the ground for the aggression in the information space” reads the announcement of the European External Action Service (EEAS) at launch of a new tool to help navigate in disinformation environment.
(Image above: illustration).

“In the last three months leading up to the invasion of 24 February, EEAS East Stratcom Task Force observed a distinctive spike in disinformation narratives promoted by the Russian (dis)information ecosystem. In outlets known for spreading disinformation, the use of the keyword ‘Nazi’ in relation to Ukraine increased by almost 300%, while the keyword ‘genocide’ spiked by over 500%. In the last 12 months, over 1200 disinformation cases were recorded in the EUvsDisinfo repository – attacking Ukraine, the European Union, its Member States and the whole like-minded community that stood up to Russian aggression and keeps supporting Ukraine.

“As the illegal military aggression continues, so do the information manipulation and disinformation campaigns. There are full-fledged disinformation and information manipulation activities ongoing in multiple languages and dozens of platforms, offline and online. It attempts to drive wedges in our society, feed on divisions, create confusion, and divert attention away from Russia’s aggression and its war crimes.

“The 24th of October marks the start of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week. The last months have shown even more clearly how big a threat disinformation is, and how crucial it is to defend ourselves against it – also on the individual level. With its multi-tier approach, the EU has been at the forefront of the fight against foreign information manipulation and interference, including disinformation.

“Today, East Stratcom Task Force is adding another tool that anyone could use to understand the threat better and to defend themselves against it. The EUvsDisinfo website, the EU’s first project raising awareness of disinformation, has been enriched with a new “Learn” section euvsdisinfo.eu/learn/.

“This page explains the mechanisms, tactics, common narratives and actors behind disinformation and information manipulation. It offers insights into the pro-Kremlin media ecosystem, and also explains the philosophy behind foreign information manipulation and interference. The readers can also find easy response technics that anyone can apply, and afterwards they can practice their newly acquired skills through quizzes and games”.

“Learn” aims to teach the readers how to judge the relevance and reliability of sources and their content as well as how to report and react to disinformation. These skills, according to the newly released Digital Competencies Framework for Citizens (DigComp 2.2), form part of the digital skills of the XXI century and are essential for informed citizens. The content of the page can be easily translated into practical exercises and case studies to discuss in a classroom.

EU: sanctions against Nicaragua

Brussels 16.10.2022 This week The Council has prolonged the framework for imposing targeted restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua for an additional year, until 15 October 2023. (Image: Europa Building, EU Council)

The restrictive measures currently in place apply to a total of 21 persons and three entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

This decision takes place following the unjustified decision of the Nicaraguan regime to expel the Head of the EU Delegation from the country, and cut diplomatic ties with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as the EU reciprocal response to declare the Head of the Mission of the Republic of Nicaragua to the EU as persona non grata.

The EU reaffirms its continued commitment to the Nicaraguan people and to defending democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The current political crisis in Nicaragua should be resolved through genuine dialogue between the government and opposition. The EU remains open to dialogue with Nicaragua, provided that this dialogue is conducted in a respectful manner.

EU-Iraq: congratulations to President

Brussels 14.10.2022 “The European Union congratulates Abdul Latif Rashid (pictured) on his election as President of the Republic of Iraq and Mohammed Al-Sudani for his nomination as Prime Minister designate.

“These are positive steps towards the long awaited government formation, one year after the October 2021 elections for which the EU deployed an Electoral Observation Mission.

“The EU also condemns the rocket attacks nearby the Iraqi parliament shortly before Thursday’s Presidential vote. Violence has no place in the democratic process and differences must be resolved peacefully through constructive dialogue within the constitutional framework.

“It is now crucial for Iraq to swiftly form a constitutionally mandated and fully empowered government that can implement urgently needed reforms, responding to the needs and aspirations of its people.

“The EU remains committed to further strengthening its partnership with Iraq in support of economic growth, job creation and stabilisation of the society.

“A peaceful, prosperous and democratic Iraq is essential for its people, for the region and for Europe”.

EU: Ambassadors conference online

Brussels 09.10.2022 “The EU diplomatic corps is on the frontline of the many crises around the world, serving the interests of EU citizens. We are called to do our part in an impactful way” European External Action Service Secretary General Stefano Sannino message ahead of this week’s EU Ambassadors Conference.

The Ambassadors’ Conference takes place against the background of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its global consequences, and as the world recovers from the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss with the EU Principals and other high-level speakers on the European Union’s response to global developments and challenges.

The conference brings together EU Ambassadors from the EU’s 145 EU Delegations and Offices around the world, in addition to the Heads of EU military and civilian operations and the Heads of the European Commission Representations in all 27 EU Member States. It offers an opportunity to review EU’s outreach in the world and to discuss main challenges and tasks for the next months.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Josep Borrell will open the conference with a public address on Monday at 09:30. He will be introduced by the EEAS Secretary General Stefano Sannino. The address will be broadcast live on the European Commission’s audiovisual service, Europe by Satellite.

European Council President Charles Michel will talk to the Ambassadors on the same day at 14:00, also broadcast live

Borrell: new diplomatic appointments

Brussels 08.06.2022 Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announced the nomination of 31 Heads of Delegations of the European Union.

They will be formally appointed following receipt of respective agréments from their host countries:

Christiane HOHMANN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Albania. She is currently Ambassador of Germany to Estonia and formerly served as German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Gabriel VISENTIN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Australia. He is currently Special Envoy of the European Union for the Indo-Pacific. He served previously as Head of the EEAS Division for Parliamentary Affairs.

Petra PEREYRA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). She is currently Head of Unit for Communication in the Directorate-General of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission. She previously served as Team leader for West Africa in the same Directorate-General.

Jorge TOLEDO ALBIÑANA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to China. He is currently Ambassador of Spain to Japan. He formerly served as Secretary of State for European Affairs in the Spanish Government.

Francesca DI MAURO has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Côte d’Ivoire. She is currently Head of Unit for Western Africa in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission. She also served as Head of Unit for Eastern and Central Africa in the same Directorate-General.

Vesna Bastistic KOS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to the Council of Europe (Strasbourg). She is currently Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva. She previously served as Director-General for multilateral issues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.

Sylvie TABESSE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Djibouti and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). She is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Haiti and also served as the Head of the EEAS Inspection Division.

Gianluca GRIPPA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Eritrea. He is currently Adviser to the EEAS Africa Managing Directorate. He also served as Head of the EU Delegation to the Dominican Republic.

Pawel HERCZYNSKI has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia. He is currently EEAS Managing Director for CSDP and Crisis Response and also served as Director for Security and Defense Policy in the EEAS. Prior to that he served as Ambassador of Poland to the Political and Security Committee (PSC).

Artis BERTULIS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Guinea Bissau. He is currently Ambassador of Latvia to India and Sri Lanka, and also served as Ambassador to Italy, Albania, Malta, San Marino, and as Latvia’s Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Jolita PONS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Guinea Conakry. She has served as Head of the Political section of the EU Delegation to Russia and previously as Head of the Political Affairs, Press and Information section of the EU Office to Hong Kong.

René VAN NES has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Guyana, for Suriname, and with responsibility for Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten. He was Head of the EEAS Division Conflict Prevention and Mediation Support, and he also served as Deputy Head of the EEAS Division Integrated Approach – Methodology and Implementation.

Stefano GATTO has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Haiti. He is currently Senior Inspector for Delegations in the EEAS Inspection Division. He also served as Head of the EU Delegation to Guatemala.

Jean-Eric PAQUET has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Japan. He is currently Director-General for Research and Innovation within the European Commission. He formerly served as Deputy Secretary-General in charge of policy coordination and better regulation within the European Commission.

Marilyn JOSEFSON has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic. She is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan and previously served as Head of Office of former EEAS Secretary-General Helga Maria Schmid.

Isabelle DELATTRE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Madagascar. She is currently Head of Unit for Southern Africa, Indian Ocean in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission. She also served as Deputy Head of the EEAS Division for Regional Affairs, ASEM and Indo-Pacific.

Antonino MAGGIORE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Mozambique. He is currently Ambassador of Italy to Zambia, Malawi and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). He also served as Head of Division for the OSCE in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

Salvador PINTO DA FRANCA ROUX has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Niger. He is currently Head of the Political, Press and Information section of the EU Delegation to Mali. He also served as Deputy Head of Mission, Head of Political section at the Portuguese Embassy in Egypt.

Riina KIONKA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Pakistan. She is currently Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa. She previously served as Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the former President of the Council of the European Union Donald Tusk.

Izabela MATUSZ has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Panama. She is currently First Counsellor in the Department of the Americas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, and has previously served in the Cabinet of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Jacques FRADIN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Papua New Guinea. He is currently Head of the EEAS Division for Integrated Strategic Planning for CSDP and Stabilisation. Previously, he was Head of the Africa and Europe sections in the EEAS Crisis Management Planning Directorate.

Roland GALHARAGUE has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Russia. He is currently Ambassador of France to Malaysia. He also served as Director responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus and Central Asia countries in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.

Belén CALVO UYARRA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Rwanda. She is currently seconded from the EEAS to the Cabinet of the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and is responsible for Africa and Development Cooperation. She also served as Head of the Political, Press and Information section of the EU Delegation to South Africa.

Jean-Marc PISANI has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Senegal. He is currently Head of Division for Horn of Africa, East Africa at the EEAS, and also served as Head of the EEAS Division for Conduct of Operations.

Sandra KRAMER has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa. She is currently Director for Africa in the Directorate-General International Partnerships within the European Commission. She also served as Director for Coordination and Administration in the Cabinet of the former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Timo OLKKONEN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to South Sudan. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe. He also served as Ambassador of Finland to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and COMESA.

Aidan O’HARA has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Sudan. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Djibouti. He also served as Director of the European Union Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.

Raimundas KAROBLIS has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan. He is currently Vice minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. He also served as Minister of Defence of Lithuania.

Marc FIEDRICH has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Timor-Leste. He is currently Acting Director of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments within the European Commission. Earlier in his career, he was also posted in the EU Delegation to Venezuela.

Jan SADEK has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana. He also served as Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia and Djibouti, and Special Representative to the African Union and IGAD.

Jobst VON KIRCHMANN has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe. He is currently Head of the EU Delegation to Ivory Coast, and also served as Head of Unit of Southern Africa, Indian Ocean in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission.

The EEAS has also nominated 4 new Deputy Heads of Delegation of the European Union:

Raffaella IODICE has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Afghanistan. She is currently Head of Unit for Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific in the International Partnerships Directorate-General within the European Commission. She also served as Head of Unit for Middle East and Gulf, Central Asia, South Asia in the same Directorate-General.

Florence LIOU has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Morocco. She is currently Deputy Head of the EEAS Division for Rights, Obligations and Medical Cell. She also served as Deputy Head of the EEAS Division for Maghreb.

Plamena HALACHEVA has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia. She is currently Policy coordinator in the Citizens, Equality, Democracy and Rule of Law Unit of the Secretariat-General within the European Commission. She also served as Policy and Political Desk for Kosovo in the Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Directorate-General within the European Commission.

Sara REZOAGLI has been nominated as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Thailand. She is currently First Counsellor, Head of Political Section of the Embassy of Italy in China. She also served as Head of Southeast Asia and Ocean Unit in the Directorate-General for Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

EU: Greece sovereignty over islands “unquestionable”

Brussels 14.02.2022 “Comments by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in a recent interview, disputing Greece’s sovereignty over some of its islands, are counterproductive and contradict de-escalation efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean called for in the Conclusions of the European Council from 23 March and 24-25 June 2021”, reads the statement by the European External Action Service spokesperson on the sovereignty of Greece over its islands.

“Greece’s sovereignty over these islands is unquestionable. Turkey should respect it, refrain from provocative statements and actions in this regard, commit unequivocally to good neighbourly relations and work to settle any disputes peacefully. International agreements must be respected” the spokesperson concludes.

In letters sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last July and September, Turkey for the first time disputed Greece’s sovereignty over east Aegean islands, “over which sovereignty was ceded to Greece on the specific and strict condition that they be kept demilitarised,” according to Turkey’s permanent representative, Feridun Sinirlioglu.

EU diplomacy office vandalised

Brussels 23.01.2022 Belgian police resorted to firing powerful water cannons and using tear gas to disperse mass demonstration in Brussels against the European sanitary strategy earlier today.

The protest gathered up to 50,000 people, according to police, and 100,000 according to the organisers, demonstrating in the capital of the European Union, including many who had travelled from France, Germany, The Netherlands, and other European countries to take part in the event.

Protesters chanted slogan ‘Liberty!’ as they marched through the streets of Brussels, by the end of the march a number of incidents caused violent clashes with police, while videos emerged of black-clad protesters attacking a building used by the European Union’s diplomatic service, hurling projectiles at its entrance and smashing windows. The EU top diplomat Josep Borrell posted a photo on his Twitter micro blog, demonstrating the damages to glass at the facade of the building. The head of the European diplomacy “strongly condemned” the “senseless destruction and violence” at the manifestation in Brussels today, including actions against the EEAS premises. He also thanked the federal police for their service.

White-helmeted police riot officers later sought to disperse protesters, who ignored instructions broadcast over loudspeakers, and drones, that the demonstration has ended and that they should leave.

Police water cannons fired powerful jets at protesters, while thick clouds of smoke and snaking trails of tear gas filled the air.

Brussels police said 70 people were detained and three officers and 12 demonstrators required hospital treatment.

EEAS: top diplomatic appointments

Brussels 07.09.2021 High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced the following appointment for a senior position in the European External Action Service (EEAS) today:

Olivier BAILLY as Director, Deputy Managing Director for Global Issues. He was previously Head of the Task Force on Vaccine Sstrategy in the EEAS. He also served as Head of Cabinet of former European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici. He took up his duties on 1 September 2021.

High Representative Josep Borrell also announced the appointments of three new Heads of Delegations and a Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union :

Rafael DOCHAO MORENO has been appointed as Chargé d’Affaires to Venezuela. He was previously Head of the EEAS Division Situation room. He also served as Head of Delegation of the European Union to Chile. Mr Dochao Moreno took up his duties on 1 September 2021.

Giacomo DURAZZO has been appointed as Head of Delegation of the European Union to Congo (Brazzaville). He was previously Head of Delegation of the European Union to Mauritania. Mr Durazzo took up his duties on 1 September 2021.

Henriette GEIGER has been appointed as Head of Delegation of the European Union to Kenya. She was previously Director for Human Development, Migration, Governance and Peace within the European Commission. Ms Geiger took up her duties at the EEAS on 16 August 2021.

Carla GRIJÓ has been appointed as Head of Delegation of the European Union to Cabo Verde. She was previously Deputy Director General in the Directorate General for European Affairs within the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms Grijó took up her duties at the EEAS on 1 September 2021.

EU diplomats focus on Belarus

Brussels 21.06.2021 “Today, at this meeting in Luxembourg, the first thing is to talk about Belarus. We are first going to have a meeting with the Belarus opposition leader, Ms [Sviatlana] Tsikhanouskaya. She will explain the situation in the country; there will be a debate; and then we will approve the package of new sanctions, which is a wide package. I think it is about 86 people or entities. Not only people, but also entities” said the High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival to the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

“Then we will also discuss about the economic sanctions, which will be presented to the European Council at its next meeting. The European Council, as you know, does not take decisions, but gives political guidelines. The economic sanctions, which affect the economy of Belarus, are going to be discussed here today and will be approved after consideration by the European Council.

“Then we are going to have a meeting also with the Foreign Affairs Minister of Iraq, in a lunch with him. The situation in Iraq is also worrisome and we will see what we can do in order to help this country.

“Latin America will be the third issue. Since I am here [in the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy], I have been trying to make people understand that Latin America is not on our political agenda enough. The COVID-19 situation in Latin America is really appalling. Frankly speaking, it is decreasing everywhere in the world, but not in Latin America where it continues to increase. And we have to do more for Latin America. There are two Association Agreements on the way and we have to accelerate them. And then, for sure, there is the issue of Mercosur. We are going to take stock of the whole relationship with Latin America.

“There are many other issues on which we have to put our attention: Ethiopia, Turkey. I am coming back from Turkey and Lebanon. In Lebanon, I sent a clear message about the need for the political class to be able to agree on a government, because the country cannot stay without a government in such a difficult situation.

“We will have an overview of the situation in the world, but the main issues are Belarus, Iraq and Latin America”.

EU-Turkey Mediterranean de-escalation

The recent withdrawal of the research vessel Oruç Reis is an important step paving the way for a meaningful dialogue between Greece and Turkey. The EU also calls for a similar decisions as concerns Cyprus. Turkey’s announcement on Tuesday of the extension of the Navtex for the Yavuz drilling vessel will fuel further tensions and insecurity in the Eastern Mediterranean at a moment when there is an opportunity to pursue immediate de-escalation, and resume dialogue and negotiations, which is the only path towards lasting solutions” reads the European External Action service Spokesperson Statement on the exploration activities in Eastern Mediterranean.

Meanwhile Turkey’s Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said seismic vessel Oruc Reis was pulled back for its periodical maintenance, howeveer Greece can turn this into an opportunity for talks in eastern Mediterranean row.

Neighbours in Mediterranean, both NATO allies, Turkey and Greece have overlapping claims to continental shelves and rights to extract potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions flared last month after Ankara sent Oruc Reis to map out possible oil and gas drilling prospects in waters claimed by Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

Turkey’s navy had issued an advisory earlier this month saying the vessel would continue operations in the area until September 12. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had confirmed that it would continue exploratory operations for longer but no extension to the advisory was issued as of noon.

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