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Brussels, 14 December 2010

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton appoints two Managing Directors for the External Action Service

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Commission Vice President, has today announced the appointment of Miroslav Lajčák as Managing Director for Russia, Eastern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans and Christian Leffler as Managing Director for the Americas in the new European External Action Service.

“These two key appointments cover vitally important relationships for the EU with our neighbours and strategically important partners across the Atlantic. Miroslav and Christian will bring experience and authority to these key posts in the new External Action Service," said Catherine Ashton.

Miroslav Lajčák has an impressive track record of achievement in the Slovak foreign service, including as Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2009-2010, political director in 2005-2007 and a number of senior ambassadorial positions. He has also worked as High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and a senior advisor in the Council Secretariat on the referendum on the independence of Montenegro.

Christian Leffler is currently deputy director general in DG Development in the European Commission, with previous experience as Head of Cabinet of former Commission Vice President Margot Wallström. Before joining the Commission, he worked as a diplomat in the Swedish foreign service with postings including Cairo and Paris.

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