This discussion, the fifth in a series of debates with European Ambassadors hosted by the Institute for Human Sciences with support from the European Commission Delegation in Washington DC, took place on November 13, 2007. It was moderated by Alan Berger, Senior Editorial Writer at the Boston Globe.
João de Vallera became ambassador of Portugal to the United States on Feb. Jan. 19, 2007. He first joined the diplomatic service in 1974. He served at the Embassy in Madrid, at the Permanent Representation to the European Communities in Brussels – as Permanent Representative and Deputy Permanent Representative. In 1998 He was appointed Ambassador in Dublin. In 2001 he became Director General of European Affairs and from February 2002 to May 2002 served as Delegate to the Convention on the Future of Europe. He was then appointed Ambassador in Berlin, a position he held until taking up his post in Washington early this year.
Carlos Westendorp became ambassador of Spain to the United States on September 15, 2004. Ambassador Westendorp, who joined the Spanish Diplomatic Service in 1966, previously served as a member of the Autonomous Community of the Madrid Parliamentary Assembly (2003-04), a member of the European Parliament (1999-2003), and high representative for the implementation of the peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1997-99). In addition, he has served as his country’s permanent representative to the United Nations (1996-97), minister of foreign affairs (1995-96), as well as various posts for the European communities, including state secretary (1991-95), permanent representative (1985-91), president executive of the Board for the Relations with the European communities (1983-85) and secretary-general (1985). Ambassador Westendorp has also served as head of the Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy at the Hague (1975-79), head of the Technical Cabinet of the Ministry of Industry (1974-75), director of economic studies at the Diplomatic School in Madrid (1969-70), and consul at the Spanish Consulate General in São Paulo (1966-69).