Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone

About the EU Delegation to Sierra Leone

12/05/2016 - 17:25
About us - structure and organisation



It is my pleasure to welcome you to the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone.

The partnership between the European Union and Sierra Leone started in 1976 when the EU opened its Delegation in Freetown and has since become more diverse and stronger.

On this website, you will find information on the different aspects of our partnership that entails political relations, technical and financial cooperation and economic and trade relations.

The work of the EU Delegation to Sierra Leone takes place in the context of the newly developed EU Global Strategy. This strategy sets out the EU's vision and values and guides the EU's external action. The EU stands for multilateralism and global governance, for strong regional cooperative orders, for the defence and promotion of human rights and democratic values, for an EU that is better equipped to face security threats, for the promotion and respect for the rule of law, for a strong desire to help building resilient and inclusive societies and pursuing shared interests, such as fighting climate change.

The long-standing partnership with Africa continues to be an important part of EU's global vision. Our relationship with Sierra Leone is also complemented by the EU-AU partnership agenda.

The EU supports the political, social and economic development of Sierra Leone and its citizens. The main focus of our cooperation is to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty and to improve the livelihoods of the citizens. Under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) European Union support to Sierra Leone amounted to a total of EUR 301 million in the form of grants. An amount of EUR 376 million is being provided under the 11th EDF for the period 2014 to 2020. The principal focus of EU support to Sierra Leone is on governance, infrastructure, education and agriculture and governance.

We look forward to hearing back from you and the Delegation staff is at your disposal to answer your questions.

Thank you for your interest.

Tom Vens


Head of the EU Delegation to Sierra Leone


Biography: Tom Vens has been serving as EU's Ambassador to Sierra Leone since September 2017. He joined the EU in 1996 and was posted to Angola (1996-2000), Ethiopia (2000-2004), Uganda (2004-8), Tanzania (2010-2014) and Somalia (2014-17). Before joining the EU he was a Programme Officer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan (1994-96). He holds a masters in International Relations from the University of Ghent (Belgium) and was an Erasmus exchange student at the University of Valencia (Spain). He also holds a masters in Media and Information Science from the University of Louvain (Belgium). Ambassador Vens is married and has two children.

The Delegation of the European Union in Freetown is one of 139 European Union Delegations around the world, serving the European Union interests as a whole, in so far as they are concerned with:

  • presenting, explaining and implementing the European Union policies;
  • analysing and reporting on the policies and developments of the countries to which they are accredited;
  • and conducting negotiations in accordance with a given mandate.

Delegations are also involved in the conduct of the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), providing regular political analysis, conducting evaluations jointly with Member State embassies and contributing to the policy-making process.

In African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries such as Sierra Leone, EU Delegations also play a key role in the implementation of the European Union's external assistance. EU Delegations are involved in programming the European Union's development cooperation and manage projects directly from start to finish, in close contact with the EuropeAid Co-Operation Office and host country authorities. They also take the lead in on-the-spot co-ordination of the implementation of all EU assistance, multilateral and bilateral, to increase cooperation synergy between member states.

In Sierra Leone, the European Union cooperation programme covers a range of target areas such as infrastructure, governance, macro-economic support and rural development. The EU cooperation programme in Sierra Leone is presented in the Country Strategy Paper for Sierra Leone which has been developed with the national authorities. The European Union Delegation in Freetown manages cooperation projects developed in the framework of the Country Strategy Paper

Reception – Switchboard:   +
Delegation's email

Head of Delegation
Ambassador Tom Vens

Head of Section - Political, Press and Information
Ms. Jamila EL Assaidi

Head of Co-operation
Mr. Gerald Hatler

Team Leader - Governance and Civil Society
Ms. Serena Bertaina

Team Leader - Economy and Social Sectors
Mr. Mario Caivano

Team Leader - Rural Development and Infrastructure
Mr. Thomas Opperer

Head of Section - Contract and Finance
Ms. Anna Karamat

Head of Administration
Ms. Francesca Gritti

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