European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has announced she will end her term at the end of December this year.
In a speech earlier this week, Ashton — who often has faced a flood of negative press for her actions — appeared to express relief that her time in office at the EU was over at last.
In sharing the news at a meeting of the German Marshall Fund earlier this week, Ashton remarked, “you lay the foundations but there are people who can do things with this that probably I couldn’t do, so it will be good to hand it over.”
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who has led the European Council since November 2009, also said he would step down. Van Rompuy said he would retire from politics.
Ashton’s place in history will be marked by her founding the anti-Israel European External Action Service (EEAS), a body the Lisbon Treaty allegedly ensures is independent from other institutions. However, it is headed by the European Commission vice president, which calls into question the entity’s autonomous status.