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Government approves recommendations from DFA review on the appointment of Special Envoys

Today the Government considered and approved the recommendations from the Report of the Group established to review the role and appointment of Special Envoys.

The review makes number of specific recommendations on how future Special Envoy appointments will take place. These recommendations include;

  • Initial assessment by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Management Board on the need for a Special Envoy role based on a valid business case reflecting foreign policy objectives and priorities.
  • The Management Board will consider whether the role can be filled from within the existing skills and expertise of the Department or other Departments, or whether external expertise is required, and recommend accordingly.
  • Cabinet approval for the creation of the role of Special Envoy will then be sought.
  • A detailed description of the role and Terms and Conditions will be drawn up and expressions of interest sought, with an assessment panel identifying a candidate/ shortlist of candidates to be prepared.
  • Following this process, Cabinet approval will be sought for the actual appointment of the Special Envoy, along with the mandate, terms and conditions.


The proposed process for the appointment of Special Envoys will be based on the principles of probity, merit, transparency and consistency.




Notes for Editors

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., requested his Department undertake a review of the role and appointment of special envoys and to make specific recommendations on how appointments made in the future will take place through a competitive process.

The full report can be found here:

The terms of reference for the review of the role and appointment of special envoys are as follows:

  • The role and status of Special Envoys internationally;
  • International practice in the appointment of Special Envoys, including within the European Union and by like-minded countries;
  • The role, status and work of Special Envoys appointed by Ireland to date;
  • Terms and conditions and value for money of Special Envoys appointed by Ireland;
  • Examination of best practice in public appointments procedures in Ireland;
  • Consultations with stakeholders, including with the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence; the Audit Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs; the EU; like-minded EU member states and third countries;
  • To make recommendations on an appropriate model for the future appointment of Special Envoys in Ireland based on a transparent and competitive process.


Review Group

The Review Group comprised the CEO of the Public Appointments Service, a former Chair of TLAC, and two Deputy Secretaries General of the Department of Foreign Affairs.


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