H.E. Mr. Lars-gun­nar WIGE­MARK Head of the EU Del­e­ga­tion to Pak­istan

The Diplomatic Insight - - Interview -

The year 2012 marks the cel­e­bra­tion of 50 years of re­la­tions be­tween Pak­istan and the Eu­ro­pean Union. The then Eu­ro­pean Com­mu­ni­ties and Pak­istan ini­ti­ated their first co­op­er­a­tion in 1976, which was fol­lowed by a for­mal Com­mer­cial Co­op­er­a­tion Agree­ment in 1986. More re­cently, and as the Eu­ro­pean Eco­nomic Com­mu­ni­ties have evolved into the Eu­ro­pean Union, the re­la­tion­ship with Pak­istan has be­come broader and now in­volves po­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity is­sues as well. The Eu­ro­pean Union is Pak­istan's largest trad­ing part­ner. The trade vol­ume also re­flects the EU's sup­port to Pak­istan, which in addition to over 450 mil­lion euro in hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port for the dev­as­tat­ing 2010 floods and 2011, of­fered spe­cial re­duced trade con­ces­sions to Pak­istan. For Pak­istan, the Eu­ro­pean Union stands out as a po­lit­i­cal, strate­gic and eco­nomic part­ner in the com­mu­nity of na­tions. To mark 50 years of EU-Pak­istan re­la­tions, TheDi­plo­mat­icIn­sight re­cently ar­ranged an ex­clu­sive sit­ting with Am­bas­sador H.E. Mr. Lars-Gun­nar WIGE­MARK Head of the EU Del­e­ga­tion to Pak­istan and dis­cussed var­i­ous is­sues re­lated to Pak­istan and EU. Am­bas­sadorWige­mark is a ca­reer diplo­mat, who al­soworked for sev­eral years for the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion the ex­ec­u­tive branch of the EU. He joined the Swedish For­eign Ser­vices in 1988 in Stock­holm and has been posted to Bel­grade, Wash­ing­ton, Brus­sels, Kabul and Moscow, where he served as Deputy Head and Min­is­ter at the Swedish Em­bassy 2003-2007. In Septem­ber 2010 the Eu­ro­pean Union High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and Vice Pres­i­dent of the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion, Baroness Cather­ine Ash­ton, ap­pointed Mr. Wige­mark as one of the first EU am­bas­sadors un­der the new Lis­bon Treaty. He took up his du­ties in Pak­istan in Fe­bru­ary 2011. Fol­low­ing are ex­cerpts of the in­ter­view. Thanky­ou­so­muchEx­cel­len­cy­foran­in­ter­ac­tiveses­sion,Let us­be­gin with then­ature­of­thetermsand­var­i­ous­po­lit­i­cal as­pect­soft­here­la­tions­forthe­last­fivedecades? Pak­istan and EU en­joy deep rooted po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic re­la­tions. We are here in Pak­istan since 1985 when an of­fice was opened. It was up­graded to a Del­e­ga­tion of the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion with full diplo­matic sta­tus in 1988. With the en­try into force of the Lis­bon Treaty in 2010, the Del­e­ga­tion was grad­u­ally trans­formed to aDel­e­ga­tion of the Eu­ro­pean Union and the ro­tat­ing Pres­i­dency among the 27 EU Mem­ber States in the area of for­eign pol­icy has been re­placed by a per­ma­nent co­or­di­na­tion by the EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and the EU Del­e­ga­tions in 128 coun­tries around the­world. Over the decades, the Eu­ro­pean Union has sup­ported Pak­istan in a num­ber of sec­tors. Our cur­rent pri­or­i­ties, which have been agreed with the

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.