3 February, 2011
McCully names new Ambassador to EU and Belgium
New Zealand's next Ambassador to the European Union (EU) and Belgium will be career diplomat Vangelis Vitalis, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today. The role will manage relations with the EU through its interaction with the European Commission which is based in Brussels.
Mr Vitalis will also be accrediated to Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Romania.
"This year marks the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relationship with the EU. We have a like-minded approach on a wide range of issues. The Prime Minister noted recently that the relationship between New Zealand and the EU provides significant potential for both sides in the changing geo-political environment," Mr McCully said.
Mr Vitalis is currently the Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra. He is an experienced trade negotiatior having led the New Zealand-Malaysia and the ASEAN negotiations for Australia-New Zealand. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he was the Chief Advisor of the Sustainable Economic Development Unit at the OECD Secretariat and is currently Chair of the OECD Trade and Environment Committee.
He will take up his assignment in August 2011 replacing Peter Kennedy who is returning to Wellington.