Helga Schmid to take over as OSCE secretary general

Germany's Helga Schmid has been announced as the new secretary general of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Her appointment comes after nearly half a year of disagreements on the matter between the member countries, mostly between the West and Russia. The term of the outgoing secretary general, Swiss diplomat Thomas Greminger, ended back in July.

In the end, OSCE countries reached a consensus and approved Helga Schmid's appointment to the positions. She has spent years representing the EU in talks concerning the Iran nuclear programme. An experienced diplomat, she knows the US and Russia equally well.

Within the EU institutions, Schmid previously served as Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs (EEAS) and Director of the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit of the High Representative for the CFSP (General Secretariat of the Council of the EU). Before joining the EU institutions, Schmid was heading the Political Staff of the German Federal Foreign Office and the Office of the German Minister for Foreign Affairs.  

Born on 8 December 1960 in Dachau, Bavaria, Schmid studied Romance languages, literature and history at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Sorbonne University in Paris between 1980 and 1987. From 1988 until 1990 she was an intern with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, where she specialised in European law, economy and international relations. Between 2002 and 2003, she served as chief of staff at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. At the time, she was involved in the launch of the EU-3 (France, the UK and Germany) negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal.

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