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EU HR Ashton nominated the top management of the External Action Service (EEAS)

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission has today announced the appointment of Pierre Vimont as the Executive Secretary General of the future External Action Service and David O’Sullivan as its Chief Operating Officer.

"I promised to appoint the brightest and best and in Pierre Vimont as the Executive Secretary General, and David O'Sullivan as Chief Operating Officer I have done just that. Pierre is held in the highest regard by the diplomatic community and will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise on foreign policy issues. David has served in the highest capacity in the European Commission, as well as having a diplomatic background. In their respective roles they will help to create a European diplomatic service that the people of Europe can be proud of," said Catherine Ashton.

Pierre Vimont is described as the “diplomats' diplomat” with a career spanning over more than 30 years. During that time he was chief of staff for three French Foreign Ministers and Minister for European Affairs. He was the Permanent Representative of France to the European Union in Brussels for four years, where he was considered outstanding during the French Presidency of the Council in 2000. He has also been posted in London and most recently in Washington as the Ambassador of France to the United States.

David O’Sullivan started his career at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and went on to work for the European Commission, where he excelled as one of the most talented officials of his generation. In his 30-year career he was Director and Director General (DG Education and DG Trade), member of the Cabinet of two commissioners, head of the cabinet of Commission President Romano Prodi before eventually being appointed Secretary General of the European Commission.

Catherine Ashton made the announcement of the first two members of her top management team today after the Council for General Affairs endorsed the final legal acts for the EAS, namely the amendments to the Staff and Financial regulations, as well as to the EU Budget for 2010. The remaining vacant positions of the EAS management team will be filled in the coming weeks.

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