Brussels, 14 December 2010
The Commission appoints an EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
The European Commission has today decided to appoint Ms Myria Vassiliadou to the position of European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. At the same time, the European Parliament has voted in favour of the Directive against trafficking in human beings that the Commission proposed in March.
"Today is an important day for the EU's fight against this modern day slavery", emphasises EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström. "The political agreement today in the European Parliament is most welcome. This shows a broad ambition within the EU that we want to step up our efforts to build a comprehensive European anti-trafficking policy. One important step towards that target is today's appointment of Myria Vassiliadou as European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. She will have a central role in coordinating all aspects of our policies against this horrific crime. I am very glad that Ms Vassiliadou has accepted to take up the job and I look forward to working with her".
Myria Vassiliadou, from Cyprus, is currently Secretary General for the European Women's Lobby, EWL, based in Brussels. She holds a PhD in Sociology and has an extensive experience in areas such as fundamental rights, trafficking, migration and women's rights through her work in academia, European institutions and non-governmental organisations.
The Anti-Trafficking Coordinator will improve coordination and coherence between EU institutions, EU agencies, Member States, third countries and international actors. She will help elaborate existing and new EU policies relevant to the fight against trafficking and provide overall strategic policy orientation for the EU's external policy in this field. The coordinator will report directly to the Director-General of DG Home Affairs.
An effective EU policy on the fight against trafficking will need to draw from many different policy fields, such as police and judicial cooperation, protection of human rights, external relations, migration policies and social and labour law. It will be the task of the anti-trafficking coordinator to ensure coherence between all these policy fields.
The fight against trafficking in human beings is an overarching priority for the Commission and the EU. In March 2010, the Commission proposed legislation obliging EU Member States to act on three fronts: prosecuting criminals responsible for trafficking human beings, protecting the victims and preventing the offences (IP/10/380).
Now that the Directive has been endorsed by the European Parliament, it will have to be formally adopted by the Council before it can enter into force. The new Directive will replace current EU legislation dating from 2002 (Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA) and will apply to all Member States except Denmark and the United Kingdom. Member States will then have to comply with the new rules within two years.
For more information
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs: