2 SEP 2010
By Andrew Rettman
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Two senior MEPs have indicated that the European Parliament will leverage its legal powers to make sure Catherine Ashton gets the "right balance" of top people in the diplomatic corps.
Ms Ashton, the EU foreign relations chief, is getting ready to unveil her nominations for 31 heads of mission and deputy heads of mission for EU embassies abroad, as well as a further 80 senior diplomatic postings and the top 20-or-so administrative jobs in the European External Action Service (EEAS).
EUobserver understands she plans to reveal the first tranche of 31 names, which cover important missions such as Brazil, China, Georgia, Japan and South Africa, shortly after coming back from her trip to China on 5 September.
The follow-up round of 80 nominations, including a new head of mission in Belarus and deputy heads in Ethiopia, Indonesia and the Palestinian territories, will not be ready until November. It is unclear when the 20-or-so administrative nominations will come out. But Ms Ashton has set herself a deadline of 1 December, a symbolic date one year after the entry into life of the Lisbon Treaty, to get the EEAS up-and-running.
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