EU High Level Presence At National Memorial Service
European Union High Level Presence At Christchurch's National Memorial Service
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will be representing the European Union at the National Memorial Service in Christchurch on 18th March.
He has been invited by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to the event. He will be joining the other senior figures coming from abroad - HRH Prince William, as well as Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott.
Commissioner De Gucht said. "I am coming to express the European Union's condolences and sympathy at the sad loss of life and damage the recent earthquake caused in Christchurch. The European Union is ready to give rapid and effective assistance where most needed at the request of the New Zealand Government, as we are also offering to Japan at this time."
Mr Karel De Gucht is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium. He has also held Ministerial portfolios for his country in Foreign and European Affairs as well as in International Trade. He was Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid in the service of the European Union before his current responsibilities.