Ефремова Мария - дипломат
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary representing Macedonia in London
Embassy of Republic of Macedonia
75-83 Buckingham Gate,
SW1E 6PE Telephone: 0207 976 0535
Fax: 020 7976 0539
Website: click here to visit.
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During her lifetime, Mrs Efremova has been to Buckingham Palace twice. The first time was with her family as a tourist last September, and the second was when she presented her Credentials to the Queen on 2 May 2008 which she describes as ‘something really wonderful.’ She tells me the Queen put her at ease, as she expected she would. ‘It really was the most memorable day of my life.’
Firmly committed to a vocation in law, Mrs Efremova climbed the career ladder to become Expert Counselor at the Skopje Court of Appeals. Political events surrounding the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1992 prompted her to start thinking about moving into the diplomatic arena. As a result, in 1998 she joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, eventually becoming the Assistant Minister for International Law and Consular Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia in 2000. Her first posting abroad was as Minister Counselor in Rome, where both her husband and son are still located, continuing with their respective careers as a doctor and as a medical school student, but regularly coming to the UK to visit. This is her first Ambassadorial role, and she assures me that ‘the Embassy in London is one of the most important diplomatic posts for Macedonia.’ Two new diplomats are due to join her in the Embassy from her home country any day now. Despite missing her husband and son, Mrs Efremova tells me ‘it is impossible not to enjoy London. It is such a cosmopolitan place.’
She goes on to explain that ‘the UK is one of the most important bilateral partners for the Republic of Macedonia,’ providing constant support since the dissolution of Yugoslavia 17 years ago. During her time in the UK, Mrs Efremova’s priorities as Ambassador are to gain further support from the UK government for accession of the Republic of Macedonia to the European Union and NATO, encourage new and larger investments from the UK in Macedonia, as well as obtain exemption for Macedonian citizens from the UK visas regime. She also has a firm commitment to better the already good bilateral relationship with the UK and engage in cultural cooperation. Mrs Efremova tells me she is enthusiastic to present the best picture of the possibilities Macedonia has to offer. Her role also involves ‘shaping the goals of our foreign policy,’ which include membership of the European Union, accession to NATO, attracting economic investment in Macedonia and keeping good relations with Macedonia’s neighbours.
On arrival in a new city, the first thing she and her husband do is to go jogging together. The Sunday they arrived, they ran past Parliament, and through both St James Park and Hyde Park. She believes jogging is always a good start to the job, helping to familiarise herself with the new surroundings, gaining an understanding of the area and people. Besides her running and accomplished professional career, Mrs Efremova is a woman of many talents. Aside from speaking many foreign languages (English, Italian, Serbian and Croatian), her hobbies include skiing which she enjoys with her family and painting. Following her mother’s passion for painting, Mrs Efremova is even having an exhibition in Rome of the pictures she painted during her posting there. An elegant and calm woman, I don’t doubt Mrs Efremova will paint the best possible picture of Macedonia during her time in the UK.