Dress code of EU commissioners in Kiev: office clothes, do not imitate Zelensky

No clothing reminiscent of the green or khaki of military uniforms. But not bright colors either. It is better to stick to the “usual business attire” and wear “comfortable shoes”. This is the dress code recommended by the European Commission’s general secretariat to commissioners and officials expected to be at the EU-Ukraine summit on 3 February in Kiev.

The summit has not only symbolic but great value for relations between Brussels and the warring country: President Ursula von der Leyen, accompanied by 16 of the 26 members of the EU executive (including Paolo Gentiloni), wants to bring a message its proximity to Kiev, perhaps in conflict. at a turning point. However, to ensure that the message was not ‘disturbed’ by blunders or communicatively damaging individual actions (as recently happened to the former German defense minister), the general secretariat sent the delegation a set of instructions.

The most obvious one concerns the dress code: the advice is not to wear “green, khaki or very bright colours”. In other words, the advice is not to ‘imitate’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who, in his ubiquitous military T-shirt, gave the world the image that he was at the forefront of the war. Here, perhaps, behind the attention paid to dress, there is Brussels’ concern to give the impression that the EU is also at war with Russia. Maybe a message that will be approved by Poland and the Baltic states, but not by some weighty capitals of the bloc (Berlin, random name).

Therefore, it is better to wear “usual business attire” and also avoid bright colors that are not appropriate for the context, such as the bright blue and yellow dresses worn by von der Leyen himself and other commissioners in public occasions. Also recommended and a “warm jacket”, because there will be walking and you won’t be caught in the cold.

The note sent to the Kyiv delegation also explains that the Ukrainian authorities are asking guests to “travel lightly (backpack or similar), avoiding luggage if possible”. The Secretariat warns that the journey (at least the last part) will be by train “cold food boxes will be handed out, but please be prepared for essentials”. On a trip to Kiev with Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Macron’s note reads: “Each wagon will have separate sofa beds with shared bathrooms, no toilets.” It is also “advised to be prepared to go straight from the train to the meetings upon arrival if the need arises, as it is impossible to estimate the exact duration of the journey”.

Finally, how to behave at the summit: the secretariat advises not to overdo it with photos and selfies, and to make sure that social media posts credibly support and not supersede the Commission’s overall political message. The latest advice is “Please note that in meetings with members of the Ukrainian government, members of the College (ie EU commissioners, ed) will need to intervene when necessary”.

Source: Today IT