Commission appoints Heads of Representation in seven new member states
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Jul 28 (CNA) -- The European Commission announced today the names of the candidates selected for the post of Head of Representation in seven new member states.
A Commission press release said a letter offering the position of Head of Representation has already been sent to the candidates concerned.
Themis Themistocleous, presently the Director of the Cyprus News Agency, has been selected as the new Head of Representation in Nicosia, Cyprus.
He has a background both in television and as a teacher. Themistocleous has a degree in Classics and English from the University of Athens, a MA in journalism from Stanford University, California, USA, and a MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management.
The appointments will be finalized after the acceptance of the offer by the candidates and the completion of the required medical check-up.
Four among the new Heads are women. These appointments are the result of a long process where nearly seventy candidates have been interviewed out of hundreds of applicants for the posts in the ten new Member States.
The appointments come at a very important time, just after the adoption by the Commission of the Communication action plan on 20 July, proposed by Vice President Margot Wallstrom. Representations are given a key role in implementating the Plan.
The new Head of Representation in Tallinn, Estonia, is Toivo Klaar, who has a background as advisor to the Minister of Defense in Estonia, as consultant and counsellor in the Embassy of Estonia in Washington DC, USA as well as other diplomatic postings. Klaar holds a degree from the University of Toronto as well as a Masters Degree.
The new Head of Representation in Budapest, Hungary is Gabor Gyorgy who has a background in radio both as a journalist and a manager. Gyorgy has a journalists degree.
The new Head of Representation in Valletta, Malta is Joanna Drake, presently the chair of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority. She also has a background in private enterprise and as lecturer of law at the University of Malta. Drake holds a Doctors degree of law from the University of Malta and was called to the Bar in 1989.
As regards Poland the new Head of the Representation in Warsaw is Roza Thun. Thun is the Executive President of the Board of the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation, was a member of the city council of Warsaw and has also worked as a book critic and spokesperson of Solidarnosc Malopolska abroad.Thun holds a MA in English philology from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
The new Head of Representation in Bratislava of the Slovak Republic, is Andrea Matisova who has a background in the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is presently the Deputy Permanent Representative and Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic to the OSCE in Vienna. Matisova holds an MA from the Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Natural Sciences and has also carried out studies at Phd level in the University of Malej Bel.
The new Head of Representation in Ljubljana, Slovenia is Mihaela Zupancic, presently Editor in chief of the Slovenian Press Agency but has also previously worked with media relations in the Government. Zupancic holds a BA in journalism and a BA in the English language, both from the University of Ljubljana.
Representations are the official voice of the European Commission in the Member States. They are responsible for explaining policies of the European Union and making Europe more understandable to people.
They provide information about the EU through recognised outlets such as public libraries, business advice centres and education services.
Their responsibilities also include providing information to the Commission on orientations and trends of public opinion in the country concerned.