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European Commission - Press release

European Commission reinforces its senior management to deliver strongly in 2018/2019 and beyond

Brussels, 21 February 2018

Today the European Commission decided on a number of appointments concerning its top management level. Appointing the best people to the right positions will help the Juncker Commission deliver strongly in 2018/2019 and beyond.

Today's senior management decisions concern key strategic areas of the Juncker Commission's work, ranging from climate action, research, education, youth and culture via social affairs and employment to the Commission's Secretariat-General and the President's Cabinet. Today's appointments will significantly boost the number of women in the position of Directors-General and Deputy Directors-General from just 11% in November 2014 to 36% now. This is the result of President Juncker's commitment to reach a target of 40% by 31 October 2019.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “With another 20 months to go until the end of the mandate of this Commission, it is now the right time to reinforce our top management so we will be able to deliver strongly on the European Union's strategic agenda. With the wind in our sails, we now need experienced, energetic and strongly motivated sailors to help steer our ship into the right direction. I have insisted on the need to have more women in leading positions in our institution. And it is good to see that with today's decisions, the representation of women in the posts of Director-General and Deputy Director-General of the Commission will rise to 36%. This is good progress that we must continue.

Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger in charge of Budget and Human Resources said: “By appointing the best people to the right positions, we are determined to use the current window of opportunity and deliver on our political agenda. We are building on the experience of our senior managers, making sure they continue to serve the interest of this institution. I will continue to place a strong emphasis on achieving President Juncker's target of at least 40% of women in the Commission's management.

 

1. Five new Directors-General for the Juncker Commission two of whom are women

The European Commission decided today to appoint five new Directors-General, which will not only increase the number of women in senior management positions, but will also improve the overall geographical balance, including appointments from Member States which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. The appointments include:

-          Themis Christophidou will be the new Director-General of DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture: a Cypriot national who since November 2014 has been the Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides. Ms Christophidou is the first Cypriot national to be appointed Director-General. Having served in the European Commission for over 17 years, including as the Deputy Head of Cabinet of the former Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou who was in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Ms Christophidou can draw on valuable experience and expertise for her new position and for the implementation of the Gothenburg Summit conclusions on education and culture.  

-          Mariana Kotzeva will be the new Director-General of DG Eurostat: a Bulgarian national who since July 2012 has served as the Deputy Director-General of Eurostat in Luxembourg. Ms Kotzeva is the first Bulgarian national to be appointed to the position of Director-General. She is also the first woman to head the European statistical office Eurostat. With almost six years of working experience in Eurostat and over ten years as the Secretary-General and then President of Bulgaria's National Statistical Institute, Ms Kotzeva has all the necessary skills and experience for her new position.

-          Joost Korte will be the new Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: a Dutch national who since January 2017 has been the Deputy Director-General of DG Trade. Having worked for over 31 years in the European Commission, including six years in the function of Deputy Director-General, Mr Korte brings the necessary extensive experience for the post. Having played a key role in the successful negotiation of the landmark deal on modernising the EU's trade defence instruments, Mr Korte will now help delivering on the outcome of the Gothenburg Summit for jobs and growth. He will also steer the Commission's work on the upcoming proposal for the European Labour Authority, announced by President Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address and make the European Social Fund fit for the next Multiannual Financial Framework.

-          Jean-Eric Paquet will be the new Director-General of DG Research and Innovation: a French national who since November 2015 has served as one of the three Deputy Secretaries-General of the Juncker Commission. With 23 years of experience in the European Commission, Mr Paquet has most recently helped shaping the European Commission's proposals for deepening the Economic and Monetary Union and for an Industrial Policy Strategy. Having served as the Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin, as well as having strengthened the European Semester process in his current role as Deputy Secretary-General, this experience makes him ideally suited for the new position.

-          Mauro Petriccione will be the new Director-General of DG Climate Action: an Italian national who since September 2014 has been serving as Deputy Director-General in DG Trade. Having worked for over 30 years in the European Commission and more specifically in the department dealing with trade, he has most recently been serving the Commission as the Chief Negotiator of the EU-Canada and the EU-Japan trade agreements. Through their successful conclusion, Mr Petriccione has proven that he has all the necessary skills and experience to deal with sensitive political negotiations. He will be instrumental in pushing for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement – a top priority for the Juncker Commission.

The current Directors-General Jos Delbeke (DG Climate Action), Michel Servoz (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and Robert-Jan Smits (DG Research and Innovation) will become Hors Classe Advisers in the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC, the Commission's internal think tank), directly advising the President and the College. Mr Servoz will be Senior Adviser for Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of European Labour Law; Mr Delbeke will be Senior Adviser for Relations with the Florence European University Institute and Mr Smits will be Senior Adviser with a mission still to be determined.

With the appointment of Paraskevi Michou as the first female Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs as of 1 March and Jean-Eric Paquet as Director-General of DG Research and Innovation as of 1 April, two out of the three positions of Deputy Secretary-General are published today to be filled as rapidly as possible, at the latest by April 2018.

 

2. Five new Deputy Directors-General four of whom are women

The European Commission decided to appoint five new Deputy Directors-General, four of which are women. This means a four-fold increase in the number of female Deputy Directors-General in the European Commission reaching the target of 40% in this position ­ up from just 8% at the beginning of the Juncker Commission's mandate.

-          Viviane Hoffmann will be the new Deputy Director-General for DG Education, Youth, Sports and Culture: a Luxembourgish national who since October 2014 has served as Director in the Presidential service DG Communication. With an experience of 30 years in the European Commission and having served for three consecutive mandates as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Vice-President and Commissioner Viviane Reding, who was in charge of education and culture during her first mandate, Ms Hoffmann brings a lot of relevant political and institutional experience to her new position. Having most recently been in charge of the Citizens' Dialogues and the Debate on the Future of Europe, Ms Hoffmann will bring many fresh ideas for the development of the Commission's policy on youth and education which figure prominently in the Leaders' Agenda.

-          Andriana Sukova will be the new Deputy Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: a Bulgarian national who has since August 2010 served as Director in DG Employment. Ms Sukova has been working in DG Employment for over seven years, notably dealing with the monitoring and execution of programmes under the European Social Fund – a competence that will be crucial for the upcoming negotiations of the new Multiannual Financial Framework that the Commission will propose in May. As former Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Bulgaria and member of Cabinet of the former Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Meglena Kuneva, Ms Sukova can also draw on useful political experience for her new position.

-          Signe Ratso will be the new Deputy Director-General of DG Research and Innovation: an Estonian national who has since March 2011 served as Director in DG Trade. With overall 12 years of experience in the European Commission's DG Trade, Ms Ratso has been dealing with questions related to market access and industry – two areas that are important when shaping the EU's policy on research and innovation. As a former Deputy Secretary-General for European integration and international cooperation of Estonia's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Ms Ratso can also draw on political experience relevant for her new position and notably for the Commission's upcoming proposal on the new framework programme for research and innovation.

-          Céline Gauer will be the new Deputy Director-General of DG Health and Food Safety: a French national who since July 2014 has been serving as Director in DG Competition. With 24 years of experience in the European Commission, Ms Gauer has notably worked on energy and environment cases in the Commission's competition department, has been in charge of setting up the network of national competition authorities and has also worked in the DG for Consumer Protection. This experience makes her well-suited for her new position.

-          Koen Doens will be the new Deputy Director-General of DG International Cooperation and Development: a Belgian national who has since November 2014 served as Director in DG Development. Mr Doens brings 14 years of experience in the European Commission and over ten years of diplomatic experience working for the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for three Belgian Ministers in charge of foreign affairs and trade. He has also headed the Commission's Spokesperson's Service under former President Barroso and is thus well-versed in political communication. As part of his most recent work in DG Development, Mr Doens has been instrumental in setting up the Africa Trust Fund to tackle the root causes of migration.

Following these decisions, the European Commission is publishing five posts for Deputy Directors-General (two in DG Trade and one each in DG Climate Action, DG Energy and Eurostat) to be filled as swiftly as possible, at the latest by April 2018.

 

3. Other decisions

The European Commission took note today of the President's and Commissioner Oettinger's decision to extend the current functions of three Directors-General beyond retirement:

-          Jean-Luc Demarty as Director-General for DG Trade. A French national with 30 years of experience in the European Commission, including as member of the Cabinet of former President Jacques Delors, Mr Demarty has over the past three years been crucial in delivering on the revitalised trade agenda under the Juncker Commission. This includes the landmark trade deals with Canada and Japan with work continuing on a trade agreement with Mercosur and on mandates for trade deals with Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

-          Dominique Ristori as Director-General for DG Energy. A French national with 40 years of experience in the European Commission, of which eight as Director-General, Mr Ristori has been crucial in taking decisive steps for forging the European Energy Union. This includes the Commission's most recent proposals for clean mobility and clean energy for all.

-          Irene Souka as Director-General for DG Human Resources and Security. A Greek national with 38 years of experience in the European Commission, of which almost nine years as Director-General for Human Resources and Security. Ms Souka is an experienced and trusted hand for personnel questions and is thus best-placed to ensure continuity and stability in the transition to the next European Commission in a portfolio that involves sensitive questions concerning people's careers and personal futures.

The European Commission also decided today to appoint two new Directors in DG International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO): Henriette Geiger, a German national who is currently Head of Unit in DG DEVCO, and Felix Fernandez-Shaw, a Spanish national who is currently a member of the Cabinet of High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini.

All CVs related to today's appointments can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/reinforcement-senior-management-february-2018_en

IP/18/1005

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