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European Union Special Representative

The European Union Special Representatives (EUSR) are emissaries of the European Union with specific tasks abroad. While the EU's ambassadors are responsible for affairs with a single country, Special Representatives tackle specific issues, conflict areas or regions of countries. They answer directly to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, currently Catherine Ashton.

Current SRs by region


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Peter Sørensen took over the position of EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina from September 2011 until October 2014.[1] His post was de-coupled from the one of High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (which remained in the hands of Valentin Inzko), aiming at fostering the EU pre-accession strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[2]


Samuel Žbogar was appointed as Special Representative in Kosovo for the period from 1 February 2012 to 30 June 2014. His mandate was extended until 28 February 2015.[3]

South Caucasus and Georgia

Herbert Salber was appointed EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia on 1 July 2014. His mandate runs until 28 February 2015.[4]



Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin was appointed European Union Special Representative (EUSR) in Afghanistan from 1 September 2013.[5] His mandate is to contribute, through close liaison with and support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Brahmini, to achieving the implementation of the Union's policy in Afghanistan, which includes the implementation of the EU-Afghanistan Joint Declaration; leading the implementation of the EU Action Plan on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in so far as it concerns Afghanistan, thereby working with EU Member States’ representatives in Afghanistan; and supporting the role of the United Nations in Afghanistan with particular emphasis on contributing to better co-ordinated international assistance. His mandate ends on 28 February 2015.[6]


Horn of Africa (incl. the region of Sudan)

Alexander Rondos was appointed European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa on 1 January 2012. His mandate was extended until 28 February 2015.[7]


Michel Dominique Reveyrand-de Menthon is appointed as the EUSR for the Sahel on 18 March 2013. His mandate ran until 28 February 2014, and was extended until 28 February 2015.[8]


Human Rights

A long standing request[9] for a representative that would be in charge of enhancing the effectiveness and visibility of EU's Human rights policy, based on the Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (officially adopted on 25 June 2012),[10] led to the creation of the post of the Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights. The post, which is providing a strong, independent, flexible and sufficiently broad mandate, is aiming to cover fields such as the strengthening of democracy, International justice, humanitarian law and the abolition of the death penalty .

On 25 July 2012, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Baroness Ashton appointed Stavros Lambrinidis, a former foreign affairs minister of Greece and Vice-President of the European Parliament, as the first Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights, with a mandate from 1 September 2012 to 30 June 2014. His mandate was extended to 28 February 2015.[11]

Previous SRs

The table below is based on official sources provided by the EU.[12][13]

Scope Representative(s) Term(s)
Afghanistan Klaus Peter Klaiber 10 December 2001 – 30 June 2002
Francesc Vendrell 1 July 2002 – 31 August 2008
Ettore Francesco Sequi (also for Pakistan from 15 June 2009) 1 September 2008 – 31 March 2010
Vygaudas Ušackas 1 April 2010 – 31 August 2013
African Great Lakes Region Aldo Ajello (initially as Special Envoy) 25 March 1996 – 28 February 2007
Roeland van de Geer 1 March 2007 – 31 August 2011
African Union Koen Vervaeke 6 December 2007 – 31 October 2011
Gary Quince 1 November 2011 – 30 June 2014 (remains head of the EU Delegation to the AU)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Lord Ashdown (also High Representative) 3 June 2002 – 31 January 2006
Christian Schwarz-Schilling (also High Representative) 1 February 2006 – 30 June 2007
Miroslav Lajčák (also High Representative) 1 July 2007 – 28 February 2009
Valentin Inzko (also High Representative until now) 1 March 2009 – 31 August 2011
Central Asia Ján Kubiš 28 July 2005 – 5 July 2006
Pierre Morel 5 October 2006 – 30 June 2012
Patricia Flor 1 July 2012 - 30 June 2014
Georgia crisis Pierre Morel 25 September 2008 – 31 August 2011
Kosovo Wolfgang Petritsch (Special Envoy) 5 October 1998 – 29 July 1999
Pieter Feith 4 February 2008 – 30 April 2011
Fernando Gentilini 1 May 2011 – 31 January 2012
Republic of Macedonia François Léotard 29 June 2001 – 29 October 2001
Alain Le Roy 29 October 2001 – 28 February 2002
Alexis Brouhns 30 September 2002 – 31 December 2003
Søren Jessen-Petersen 26 January 2004 – 30 June 2004
Michael Sahlin 12 July 2004 – 31 August 2005
Erwan Fouéré 17 October 2005 – 31 August 2011
Middle East peace process Miguel Ángel Moratinos 25 November 1996 – 31 May 2002
Marc Otte 14 July 2003 – 28 February 2011
Andreas Reinicke 1 February 2012 - 31 December 2013
Moldova Adriaan Jacobovits de Szeged 23 March 2005 – 28 February 2007
Kálmán Mizsei 1 March 2007 – 28 February 2011
South Caucasus Heikki Talvitie 1 July 2003 – 28 February 2006
Peter Semneby 1 March 2006 – 28 February 2011
Philippe Lefort (also for Georgia crisis) 1 September 2011 - 30 June 2014
Royaumont Process Panagiotis Roumeliotis
(was already also the coordinator of the process of stability and good-neighbourly relations in South-east Europe (the Royaumont Process))
31 May 1999 – 31 May 2000
Southern Mediterranean Bernardino León 18 July 2011 – 30 June 2014
(Special) Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe Bodo Hombach 2 July 1999 – 31 December 2001
Erhard Busek 1 January 2002 – 30 June 2008
Sudan Pekka Haavisto 18 July 2005 – 30 April 2007
Torben Brylle 1 May 2007 – 31 August 2010
Rosalind Marsden (also for South Sudan since 1 August 2011) 1 September 2010 – 31 October 2013
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Felipe González 8 June 1998 – 11 October 1999

Middle East

There was a mandate for a Special Representative for the Middle East peace process, but the post was abolished on 20 January 2014 (with effect from 1 January 2014) and its duties were assumed by European External Action Service.[14] The mandate of the Special Representative was based on the EU's policy objectives regarding the Middle East peace process, which include a two-State solution with Israel and a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign Palestinian State living side-by-side within secure and recognised borders enjoying normal relations with their neighbours in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1402 and the principles of the Madrid Conference.


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  2. ^ BH News
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  5. ^ "European Commission Press Release". Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
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  12. ^ Former Special Representatives
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External links

  • Official list of EU Special Representatives
  • Official list of current EU Special Representatives
  • Official list of former EU Special Representatives
  • Exploring EU Foreign Policy, the EUSR, Leuven Catholic University
  • Giovanni Grevi, The EU Special Representatives, Chaillot Paper nb. 106, Institute for Security Studies of the European Union, Paris, 2007
  • Cornelius Adebahr, Working inside out: what role for Special Envoys in the European External Action Service?, EPC Policy Brief, January 2011
  • Dominik Tolksdorf, The Role of EU Special Representatives in the post-Lisbon foreign policy system: A renaissance?, IES Policy Brief, Brussels, June 2012
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