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European Commission - Press release

EU High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton appoints three new Directors in the European External Action Service

Brussels, 04 August 2011 - Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Commission Vice President, today appointed three new Directors in the European External Action Service. Frans Jacob Potuyt, a Dutch diplomat, becomes Director for Security. Koen Vervaeke, a Belgian diplomat, becomes Director for the Horn of Africa, East and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Fernando Gentilini, an Italian diplomat, becomes Director for Western Europe, the Western Balkans and Turkey. They will take up their new duties in the coming weeks, following the completion of the necessary administrative formalities.

Catherine Ashton said: "I am delighted to appoint three excellent candidates to these key posts in the EEAS. Their experience and expertise will be invaluable to us as we continue to build the service. They are testament to the high calibre of diplomats working in the EEAS. I look forward to cooperating closely with them over the coming years."

Frans Jacob Potuyt is currently Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy in Kazakhstan. As former Security Director of the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, he gained extensive security management experience in high risk places such as Beirut, the Balkans, Palestine and Afghanistan.

Koen Vervaeke is currently Special Representative and Head of Delegation to the African Union in Ethiopia. He was previously Belgian Ambassador to the Great Lakes Region and Political Counselor to the UN in Geneva and Bujumbura, Burundi.

Fernando Gentilini is currently seconded as Senior Adviser to the EEAS on the Western Balkans. He previously held a number of senior management positions in NATO, the EU and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Contacts :

Maja Kocijancic (+32 2 298 65 70)

Michael Mann (+32 2 299 97 80)


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