Portraits of the Ambassadors. Darius Pranckevičius: the presidency will bring more of Europe into Lithuania and more of Lithuania into Europe

28 Jun 2013, Last updated at, 08:29 EEST
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Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Darius Pranckevičius

“I'm a representative of the Political and Security Committee (PSC), and to my son I’m the dad who is always in session,” is how Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Darius Pranckevičius briefly summarises his duties. The PSC comprises ambassadors from every EU member country. They discuss complex matters of international politics and crises, organize meetings of foreign ministers where political decisions are made, and aren't very talkative about their job.

“Our committee deals with politically sensitive matters, is responsible for monitoring the international situation, contributes to forming the EU's general foreign, security, and defence policy, performs the political monitoring of crisis management operations, and creates strategies.”

The ambassador’s career path to his current position has been consistent. In 1991, after graduating from Vilnius University (economics), he started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Press and Information Department, and the departments of Economic Relations and European Integration. He also completed a traineeship programme at Stanford University, learning from the best political scientists and diplomats, including the future Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

Subsequently Pranckevičius went to Oxford University as a visiting student, where he experienced the pleasures of student life again.

“Everybody should have a break and study abroad – it's an invaluable experience,” the ambassador recommends.

Pranckevičius also worked at the Embassy of Lithuania in the U.S. His time at the Embassy of Lithuania in the Netherlands enabled him to develop an interest in Dutch culture. He also became a permanent representative of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

In 2007, he was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Turkey, and from 2008 to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“In our work the most difficult thing is constantly being on the move, getting used to a new environment, though that’s also a big advantage – you don’t spend too much time in one place and there are always new challenges.”

A diplomat's day can begin very early and end very late – everything depends on the number of sessions and meetings.

“An ambassador is like a diplomat, it's just that he/she is also a manager," he says when asked about coping with the workload.

Pranckevičius will not preside over PSC sessions – with the Lisbon Treaty coming into effect in 2009, Permanent Chairpeople govern the EU's foreign matters – but he wished his colleagues who will be presiding to be more peaceful than calm.

“During Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU Council, we are facing crises, and that's why I hope we'll have less trouble and more political accord.”

He noted that the presidency of the EU Council was very important for Lithuania, and would bring more of Europe into it and more of Lithuania into Europe: “It’s time to do our duty honourably and professionally – I'm sure that we will succeed.”

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
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