Catherine Day leaves top EU post
Irishwoman Catherine Day is stepping down as secretary general of the European Commission.
The move will end a 15-year stint during which an Irish person headed the EU executive - one of the most influential posts in the 28-nation European Union and in the western world.
Ms Day took office in November 2005, succeeding Irishman David O'Sullivan, who was in the job from 2000 and is now the EU ambassador to Washington. She was also the first woman ever to head the administration since it was established in 1957.
A native of Dublin, she joined the Brussels executive in 1979. She advised two Irish Commissioners, Dick Burke and Peter Sutherland, and was also an advisor to UK Commissioner Leon Brittan.
She will be succeeded by Dutchman Alexander Italianer.