Lack of diplomatic experience of first EU foreign minister not to present obstacles: expert
Azerbaijan, Baku, November 25 / Trend , E.Ostapenko /
The lack of diplomatic experience of the first EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, who will now pursue the foreign policy of the EU, does not mean that she will not be able to manage her mission, the Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels Antonio Missiroli said.
"We should not compare Catherine Ashton to Javier Solana that we have now, but to Javier Solana that was appointed to the position of High Representative in 1999. It is easy to have experience after having served, but of course it is difficult to start," Missiroli told Trend in a telephone conversation.
In accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, the EU foreign policy service will be headed by the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy. This position will combine the existing powers of the High Representative Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and will also have a number of new powers. The head of European diplomacy will become part of the European Commission in the position of Vice Chairman.
Last week, the European leaders elected Ashton the EU Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Belgium Herman Van Rompuy the EU President (President of the European Council - the authoritative forum of heads of states and governments of EU countries). Both positions are stipulated in the Lisbon Treaty, which will come into force on December 1.
There is a degree of lack of experience on Ashton's part, especially at the senior ministerial level and diplomatic level, Missiroli said. However she has some experience in multilateral negotiations and policy making as she has been Trade Commissioner for one year. And she will have to learn on the job very quickly.
Apparently she has done with a trade portfolio, because she had no previous experience in trade and she learned very fast, the expert said.
"Ashton will need to create staff that can support her work effectively and compensate a bit of her lack in diplomatic experience," he said.
Consultations about the individuals who will lead the EU in the near future intensified after the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus signed the Lisbon Treaty, thus completing the ratification process.
The Lisbon Treaty, which envisages reforming the structure of the EU, was signed by European leaders in Portugal in December 2007.
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