FPI is a service of the European Commission that reports directly to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. It works very closely with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and with EU Delegations around the world and is tasked with preparing and implementing foreign policy-related actions in a number of areas.
FPI Director and Head of Service
Catherine Ashton was born in Lancashire, England, in 1956. She graduated with a BSc in Sociology from Bedford College, London, in 1977.
She has held a number of important positions as a politician in the United Kingdom. In 1999, she was made a Labour life peer. She was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Education and Skills, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. In 2005, she was voted ‘Minister of the Year’ by The House Magazine, and in 2007 was appointed to the Cabinet of the British Labour Government as Leader of the House of Lords.
Later, Ms Ashton became EU Trade Commissioner, leading major negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement with Korea, and solving a number of high-profile trade disputes with major trading partners. In November 2009, she was appointed as the EU’s first High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. This new position was created under the Lisbon Treaty and the holder is charged with coordinating the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Tung-Laï Margue was born in Luxembourg in 1953. He holds a diploma from the Institute for Political Science in Paris and a DESS in Common Market and European Community Law from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris, as well as a degree in International and Community law of the faculty of law in Aix-en-Provence.
He joined the European Commission in 1979 and held a range of posts in the fields of internal market, justice and home affairs as well as member of two Cabinets before becoming Director of the General Affairs Directorate of DG JLS in 2004. In March 2009, he became Director for resources, information and interinstitutional relations of DG RELEX. He took up his current appointment as Director and Head of Service for Foreign Policy Instruments in January 2011.