Belgian heads EU anti-terrorism office

19th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 September 2007, BRUSSELS – High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy for the EU Javier Solana has appointed Belgian official Gilles de Kerchove d'Ousselghem as the new anti-terrorism coordinator for the EU.

19 September 2007

BRUSSELS – High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy for the EU Javier Solana has appointed Belgian official Gilles de Kerchove d'Ousselghem as the new anti-terrorism coordinator for the EU.

De Kerchove must coordinate the European Council's efforts in the fight against terrorism and continue the implementation of European anti-terror strategy. "I am certain that Gilles de Kerchove will bring added value to the Council's work in this important domain," Solana said.

The function of anti-terrorism coordinator was created after the attacks in Madrid in 2004. One of the coordinator's tasks is to improve cooperation among the member states.

The first person to fill the job however, Dutch former minister Gijs de Vries, did not succeed in convincing the sceptics of the usefulness of the new position. His appointment was announced with much ado, but he was given little room to manoeuvre by the member states. He resigned last spring even before his mandate expired.

At the beginning of this week the home affairs ministers decided to give the function less political weight from now on and to appoint an expert familiar with European bureaucracy. Solana chose Kerchove, who has worked closely with De Vries as an expert in police and court cooperation.

50-year-old Gilles de Kerchove has been working at the Council since 1995.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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