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Denmark’s ambassador to EU appointed Council secretary-general

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Baku, April 22, AZERTAC

Leaders of the European Union member states have tonight approved Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen to be the next secretary-general of the Council of Ministers. Tranholm-Mikkelsen, who is currently Denmark’s ambassador to the EU, will take over from Uwe Corsepius on 1 July. Corsepius is returning to Berlin to be EU affairs adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to NewsCentral by exsees.

European Council President Donald Tusk proposed Tranholm-Mikkelsen to be secretary-general to leaders meeting for the European Council in Brussels this evening. His nomination was accepted unanimously.

The secretary-general of the Council is a low-profile position but one of the most powerful jobs in the EU institutions with responsibility for organising the work of the Council of Ministers, the main law-making body in the EU together with the European Parliament. The secretary-general also prepares meetings of the European Council, the regular meetings of national leaders which set the EU’s main policy guidelines.

Tranholm-Mikkelsen, who has been Denmark’s ambassador to the EU since 2010, is highly respected by his peers. He reinforced his reputation as one of the most effective members of the group of ambassadors to the EU – the committee of permanent representatives – with his successful running of EU business during Denmark’s presidency of the Council of Ministers in 2012.

Tranholm-Mikkelsen, 53, was Denmark’s ambassador to China in 2007-10 before being appointed ambassador to the EU. He has a long career in EU policy, having been Denmark’s deputy ambassador to the EU in 2003-07 and chief adviser to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister, in 2001-03.

He is the second Dane to be secretary-general of the Council. Nils Ersbøll held the position in 1980-94.

Tranholm-Mikkelsen was expected to become Denmark’s ambassador to the US after leaving Brussels. Becoming secretary-general of the EU instead of taking the ambassador’s post to the US, one of Denmark’s most important strategic partners, indicates the significance of the position in international diplomacy and politics.

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