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In first, woman wins top EU civil service job



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BRUSSELS, Nov 9 (AFP) - Catherine Day, an Irish career EU civil servant, made history Wednesday by becoming the first woman ever appointed to head the bureaucracy at the European Commission.

In a shake-up of top jobs in Brussels, Day became secretary general of the European Union's executive branch, under commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

"The appointment of Catherine Day as secretary general, even if based on her own merits, is emblematic of our commitment to gender balance," said Barroso in a statement.

Day, who has an Master's degree in Trade and International Integration from University College, Dublin, will succeed her compatriot David O'Sullivan, who becomes EU director general for trade, a hotseat job as the WTO heads for crunch talks.

"This Commission has set itself ambitious objectives, and I am convinced that the senior management teams emerging from this package have the right mix of experience and management skills to fulfil our mandate," said Barroso.

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COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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