Friday, 1 March, 2019 - 17:11
Ireland’s former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has been appointed as the EU’s Special Representative on Human Rights. He will replace in this position Stavros Lambrinidis, who held the office from 2012.
Lambrinidis was the first special EU representative for human rights. Gilmore will replace him on Friday for a two-year term.
“The Special Representative on Human Rights is tasked with increasing the effectiveness and visibility of EU policies on these rights, its mandate is broad and flexible, allowing it to adapt to an evolving geopolitical situation,” the EU Council said in a statement, adding that “the Special Representative will work closely with the European External Action Service, which will ensure him full support.”
Mr Gilmore has worked for the last three years as the EU special representative to the Colombian peace process, travelling regularly to Bogota where, Irish officials say, he has brought particular insights from the Northern Ireland peace process. He is expected to be formally approved by the EU Council next week.
Originally from a small farm in the west of Ireland, Mr Gilmore is a former student leader who went to work for the then Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union before entering politics as a member of Sinn Féin. He led Labour from 2007 to 2014. He has also served as adjunct professor in the school of law and government at Dublin City University.
Current incumbent, Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis, is due to take up a position within months as EU ambassador to the United States.