Greek Stavros Lambrinidis appointed EUSR for Human Rights

On 25 July, Stavros Lambrinidis, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Greece, was appointed first ever European Union special representative (EUSR) for human rights by the Council. The former Socialist MEP (since 2004) and vice-president of the European Parliament (2009-2011) will take office on 1 September with an initial mandate running until 30 June 2014. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton considers Lambrinidis a “tremendous asset” and is “looking forward to working with him in putting the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy at the heart of EU external action, and enhancing the coherence, effectiveness and visibility of our work in this field.”

His nomination follows the adoption in June of the Strategic Framework and the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. Guy Verhofstadt MEP, ALDE group leader in the European Parliament, has welcomed the appointment: “The appointment of a dedicated EU representative to defend and uphold respect for Human Rights around the globe sends a very powerful signal to all the European Union’s partners that we take the matter extremely seriously and will henceforth place extra emphasis on this as a central plank of EU foreign policy under the overall direction of the External Action Service.”

Read further: Remarks by High Representative Catherine Ashton with new EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis

Susan Schneider