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서울 - 체코공훈메달 EU대사에게 수여

브라이언 맥도날드 주한유럽연합대사는 체코와 한국간의 교류협력을 증진시킨 것에 대한 공로로 최근 체코외무부 메달을 수상하게 되었다. 이번 행사를 위해 야로슬라브 올샤, jr. 주한체코대사는 대사관저에 여러 유럽대사(이태리, 헝가리, 스페인, 독일, 프랑스, 네덜란드 대사) 들을 초청하여 칵테일 파티를 열었다. 이날 바츨라프 클라우스 체코대통령이 맥도날드 대사에게 개인적으로 선사한 EU에 관한 그의 저서를 특별선물로 선보였다.

(l-r) EU Ambassador Brian McDonald and Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr. with the medal of appreciation (photo by Yoav Cerralbo, The Korea Herald)

 

The medal is not a suprise, as Ambassador Brian McDonald who has spent four years in Seoul, has been the instrumental person behind many developments in upgrading and increasing the ties between the Republic of Korea and 27-members strong European Union. He was also actively working on the success of the very first (and the only) separate–standing summit between the European Union and the Republic of Korea, which was held in Seoul during the Czech Republic´s Presidency of the European Union in May 23, 2009. This summit which brought to Seoul both the President of the Czech Republic, H. E. Mr. Václav Klaus as well as the President of the European Commission H. E. Mr. José Manuel Barroso for a talks with the President of the Republic of Korea H. E. Mr. Lee Myung-bak, was prepared on European side jointly by both Ambassador Brian McDonald and his Czech colleague Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr.

65-years old Ambassador Brian McDonald studied at University College in Dublin and later on followed his law studies at top US Harvard University, where he earned his LLM degree. After two years at his native Irish diplomatic service, he has entered the European Commission in 1973 and served in various positions at its Brussels headquarters as well as in its missions in Geneva, Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Taipei, before being appointed the head of EU Delegation in Seoul in October 2006. His both law and economy backrground (he is also an author of a book „The World Trading System: the Uruguay round and beyond, published by Macmillan in 1998) made him a perfect fit for a tireless work on preparation and discussion on two important agreements which were finalized and signed between the European Union and the Republic of Korea, namely Free-trade agreement and Framework agreement, which will both very much enhance already developed European-Korean ties.

Ambassador Brian McDonald thus became the lastest recipient of this medal. There is a tradition of bestowing such honours by Czech Ambassadors to distinguished Korean and foreign individuals, who are significantly promoting the Czech-Korean ties in various fields. Very recently the same medal was given to Mr. Cho Seong-kwan, assistant managing editor of Weekly Chosun and an author of Geniae of Prague (2009) a definitive book on Czech culture and history written as a biographies of six important Czech cultural icons – composers Bedrich Smetana and Antonin Dvorak, filmmaker MIlos Forman, writer Milan Kundera, playwright and human rights activits and former president Vaclav Havel and famous Jewish writer from Prague, Franz Kafka.

Among other recipients in recent years are a.o. famous Korean actors Jeon Do-Yeon and Kim Juhyeok of succesful Korean TV drama Lovers in Prague (Prahaeui yeonin, 2005), the first Korean Ambassador to Prague Sun Jun-young, founding-fathers of Czech-language studies and translators professors Kim Kyuchin, Kwon Jae-il and Kim Kyung-Ock, and a nestor of Czech Korean studies Vladimír Pucek, as well as a foremost expert on Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, Mr. Choi Young-chul of Seouloratorio and Mrs. Kang Wha-Ja, president of the Beseto Opera Company to mention only a few of those distinguised personalities from the last five years.

Articles about the event were published by

The European Voice (Brussels, 30 Sep 2010) – here

The Korea Herald (Seoul, 4 Oct 2010) – here

The Korea Times (Seoul, 4 Oct 2010) – here

 

(l-r): Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs´ medal and a book with a personal dedication by Czech President Václav Klaus (photo by Cherry Rompas)