Press Releases Diplomacy: The EEAS and the Belgian Foreign Ministry celebrate the International Day of Women in Diplomacy

Diplomacy: The EEAS and the Belgian Foreign Ministry celebrate the International Day of Women in Diplomacy

The WomEn DIplomats Network of the European Union (WEDIN EU) will reconvene on Tuesday 25 June in Brussels. This year, on the occasion of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the “Women at the European External Action Service” network joins forces with the “Women at Work” network of the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation to co-host the annual event gathering women diplomats from the 27 EU Member States. This will be the third edition of WEDIN EU, a network of women diplomats from the EEAS and EU Member States, following its launch by the Women at the EEAS (WEEAS) in 2022.  It will take place following the International Day for Women in Diplomacy on 24 June, timely marking the occasion.

This annual meeting offers an opportunity for Women Diplomats from EU Member States and the EEAS, including leaders of networks of Member States’ Ministries for Foreign Affairs, to exchange best practices to facilitate women diplomats’ careers and discuss the important role of women in diplomacy, and more broadly the promotion of gender equality in the world.

The gathering will take place at the Belgian FPS Foreign Affairs and will be opened by its Secretary General Theodora Gentzis and the new WEEAS Chair Angelina Eichhorst.

“As a network of networks, the WEDIN EU is a powerful tool to encourage and inspire those women who, in their respective ministries of foreign affairs are doing the extra mile to support other women in their diplomatic career, and the other extra mile to support women worldwide. As women diplomats we have the power to put equality between men and women at the agenda of our dialogue with all countries in the world and of our concrete cooperation activities.”

Angelina EICHHORST, Women in the EEAS Chair

The event will be moderated by the WEDIN EU coordinator Aude Maio-Coliche and the Belgium W@W women diplomats network.

“While in the first years of its existence, the WEDIN EU concentrated on exchange of experiences on how to create networks of women diplomats in our respective Ministries for Foreign Affairs and at the EEAS, and on how we could work towards facilitating women diplomats’ careers, our exchanges since last November have targeted another aspect of our work programme: the development of relations with networks of women diplomats in third countries.”

Aude MAIO-COLICHE, Coordinator of WEDIN EU

This year’s keynote speaker is former diplomat Dr. Jennifer Cassidy, Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Oxford and Editor of the book ‘Gender and Diplomacy’. The event will also count with the participation of the Folke Bernadotte Academy, who will present a training session on ‘Countering Resistance’.

Hadja LAHBIB, Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade, joined by the EEAS Secretary General Stefano Sannino, will close the event.

Now in its third year running, the WomEn DIplomats Network reaffirms the European Union and the EEAS’ strong commitment to the promotion of diversity and gender equality in the world, as well as the transformative potential of women in diplomacy.


The “Women in the EEAS” (WEEAS) network was created by former EEAS Secretary General Helga Schmid, back in 2013, under the authority of the then High Representative Catherine Ashton. It aimed at providing a platform for the exchange of information, experiences and ideas among women professionals in the EEAS.

In 2021, WEEAS started linking up with networks of women diplomats in EU Member States. In January 2022, the network agreed to reinforce networks of European women diplomats to facilitate careers of women diplomats and reinforce a feminist diplomacy that promotes equality between men and women in the world. In November 2023, WEDIN EU presented its first report on the progress made over the past year, evaluating the activities of the networks and making proposals for the next steps. The first and second editions of the WEDIN EU gatherings in 2022 and 2023 were presided by the former Deputy Secretary General of the EEAS and Chair of the WEEAS network, Helena König.

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