POLITICS

Outgoing Slovak Foreign Minister to be EU Special Envoy for the Western Balkans?

 

Outgoing Slovak Foreign Minister and diplomat Miroslav Lajcak could become the first European Union special envoy for the Western Balkans, EURACTIV.com reported on Friday. This position would be established by the European Commission in cooperation with the European External Action Service (EEAS). Lajcak was the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and worked briefly in the EEAS.

So far, the EU has not had a Special Representative for the region aspiring to bloc membership, and negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina have been conducted with the mediation of former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini.

He joined the foreign service of then Czechoslovakia in 1988 and was posted in Moscow from 1991 to 1993, initially to the embassy of Czechoslovakia, and from 1993, after Czechoslovakia peacefully split, to the Slovak Embassy there.

Upon his return to Slovakia in 1993, Mr. Lajčák played a vital role in the transformation of his young country. He actively helped to build and shape the Slovak national foreign service as Director of the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister of the newly established Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, and later as Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister.

In 1994, Mr. Lajčák was appointed as the Slovak Ambassador to Japan. Upon his return to Slovakia in 1998, he served as Director of the Cabinet of the Foreign Minister. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Lajčák concurrently served as the Executive Assistant to the United Nations Secretary-General´s Special Envoy for the Balkans.

Following his tenure as Slovak Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between 2001 and 2005 Mr. Lajčák served as Political Director at the Foreign Ministry of the Slovak Republic from 2005 to 2007.

A key figure in the mediation of the post-conflict crises in the Western Balkans, Mr. Lajčák negotiated, organised and supervised the referendum on the independence of Montenegro in 2006 on behalf of the European Union.

In 2007, Mr. Lajčák was appointed High Representative of the International Community and European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his tenure, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the landmark Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union.

From 2009 to July 2010, Mr. Lajčák served as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Lajčák helped shape the newly formed diplomatic service of the European Union, the European External Action Service, as its Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia. In addition, he also served as the EU´s Chief Negotiator for the Association Agreements of the EU with Ukraine and Moldova, as well as the EU Representative for the “5+2 Talks” on the Transnistrian Settlement Process.

From April 2012, Mr. Lajčák serves as Minister of Foreign and European Affairs (and Deputy Prime Minister in 2012-2016) of his country. He was reappointed as Minister in March 2016 and in March 2018, thus currently serving his fourth term.

On 31 May 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations elected Mr. Lajčák of as President of its seventy-second session, which spanned from September 2017 to September 2018. For this period of time, Mr. Lajčák fulfilled his tenure as the President of the General Assembly concurrently to his mandate as Slovakia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.

Mr. Lajčák is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations and has a law degree from the Comenius University in Bratislava.

He has received several state honours, including the Order of the Yugoslav Star, 1st Class in 2005, the Order of Honour of the Republic of Moldova in 2014 and the Order of the Montenegrin Great Star in 2016.

 

Leave a Comment