Top Dutch diplomat appointed EU ambassador to South Africa

Dutch diplomat Roeland van de Geer has been appointed European Union ambassador to South Africa. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton announced the appointment yesterday in Brussels.

The Netherlands is pleased with Mr Van de Geer’s appointment to what is seen as one of Europe’s most important diplomatic posts.

Mr Van de Geer has a long record of service at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and considerable experience in the fields of peace and security and development cooperation. He has served as the Netherlands’ ambassador to Mozambique and Afghanistan as well as Director of the Ministry’s Sub-Saharan Africa Department. In 2007 High Representative Javier Solana appointed him EU Special Representative for the African Great Lakes Region.

Mr Van de Geer will represent the EU in South Africa as part of the new European External Action Service (EEAS). Established by the Treaty of Lisbon, the EEAS will enable the EU to play a more forceful role in the world.

The new ambassador is the father of two children, speaks eight languages, is a dedicated sailor and swim instructor and is known as a dynamic diplomat.