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Ioannis Vrailas
Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the UN

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(The views expressed here are those of Mr. Vrailas in his personal capacity, and do not reflect those of any other organization.)

 

 

Summary

Ioannis Vrailas, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the UN, discusses the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU in 2012, and some of the important benefits of this distinction for the EU. He outlines the continuing issues that the EU is facing and outlines the guiding principles to which the EU is adhering in order to have a sustainable future. As Vrailas explains, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize symbolizes that the EU is credible; that they stand by their word. It recognizes their contributions and acknowledges that the member states of the EU have been able to overcome their differences and collaborate. The Nobel Peace Prize puts fresh “wind in our sails” according to Vrailas, and demonstrates that the EU has not been complacent, but rather has been continuing to fight for, and protect the EU. Vrailas disagrees with the argument of critics who believe that the EU was undeserving of the Nobel Peace Prize. He states that these are the hardest times that Europe has faced since the Second World War, and he believes that European leaders have learned their lessons and are revitalizing their economic policies. Vrailas stresses that the EU does not have temporary or short-term goals, but instead is implementing comprehensive strategies that will increase the chance of success for the long-term. Through these discussions, EU leaders are working together to solve the crisis and have united in spite of it.

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Ioannis Vrailas, Background
Mr. Vrailas began his career with a degree in economics from the University of AthensĀ  and served as an intern at the European Commission. In 1985, he joined the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he held a variety of posts related to European and UN affairs. From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Vrailas was Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, until moving to the Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations to cover Security Council issues. He became the Mission’s coordinator during the Greek Presidency in 1994. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Vrailas was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Greece in Tehran, after which he returned to Athens and was appointed European Correspondent until January 2004. He relocated to Brussels to cover CFSP/ESDP affairs from 2004 to 2008 as the Deputy Representative to the Political and Security Committee and the Representative to the Political-Military Group. Subsequently, in 2008 to 2009, Mr. Vrailas was appointed Chief Coordinator of the Greek Permanent Representation to the EU for external relations. In August 2009, Mr. Vrailas was appointed as Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Greece in Washington until July 2011, when he joined the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations in New York.

Recorded November 2012