The new European Commissioners to take office in 2010 have been announced. Fifteen of the 27 are back for a second or third term, and all take on new policy responsibilities with the exception of President Barroso. The new Commission will stay in office until 31 October 2014.
The new Commissioners and the Commission as a whole were finally approved by Members of the European Parliament in a vote on 9th February 2010 (it was originally scheduled for 26 January), which means that Commission business requiring decisions at the top can finally get under way.
There are seven Vice Presidents: Ashton, Reding, Almunia, Kallas, Kroes, Tajani and Šefčovič, according to the official order of ranking. Of the new College, 13 come from the centre right, 6 from the centre left and 8 from the ranks of liberal parties.
Barroso has introduced a series of key changes to the new College and the services they lead. Namely:
- A new cross-departmental Climate Commissioner with a new climate action Directorate-General (DG).
- Splitting of Justice, Security and Home Affairs responsibilities between two Commissioners, yet keeping the executive within one DG (see below).
- Splitting of the Development and Humanitarian Affairs remits.
- The split-up of the current DG for Transport and Energy.
- Fusing of the Consumer Affairs and Health DGl.
- Moving the pharmaceuticals unit to the new DG for Health and Consumers.
- Moving the biotechnology and pesticides unit from the Environment DG to the Health and Consumer DG.
- No Commissioner with a specific communications remit a la Commissioner Wallstrom.
- Likely new role of Chief Scientific Adviser.
The Commissioners and their responsibilities
President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso (Portugal, EPP). Barroso was Portugal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and was elected Prime Minister in 2002. Barroso became Commission President in November 2004, and in June 2009, was put forward by EU leaders for a second term. In September the European Parliament approved his nomination, after insisting he set-out a political manifesto of his vision for the EU. Responsibilities: Secretariat-General (SG); Legal Service (LS); Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA); Spokespeople’s Service (SPP).
- Chef du Cabinet – Johannes Laitenberger leads the Cabinet of José Manuel Barroso. Laitenberger assumed this role on November 1, after 4 years as Barroso’s spokesman, and previous to that as a member of his Cabinet. Laitenberger, a German national, is a fluent Portuguese speaker and is said to have a very close relationship with Barroso. Prior to joining the Commission’s Competition Directorate-General in 1999, he practiced as a lawyer, worked in an industry association and at the Council of the European Union.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the Commission Baroness Catherine Ashton (UK, S&D). Lady Ashton has been Commissioner for Trade since October 2008. She starts her new position on December 1. A surprise choice for the dual position of EU High Representative and Vice-President of the Commission, Ashton’s new position combines that of the Commissioner for External Relations DG (currently Benita Ferrero-Waldner) and the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (Javier Solana). Although she does not have any direct experience in foreign policy, as the European Commissioner for Trade, she negotiated bilateral trade agreements and is well-regarded in Brussels. Ashton has publicly stated that she will continue the style of “quiet diplomacy” started by her predecessor Javier Solana. Responsibilities: DG External Relations (RELEX). In the Council she will preside over the Foreign Affairs Council. Competency changes: Will lead the European External Action Service (EEAS), the embryonic EU diplomat service to be set up.
- Chef du Cabinet – James Morrison. Prior to coming to Brussels to work with Lady Ashton, he served for 20 years with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier (France, EPP). Barnier has landed one of the heavyweight posts in the Commission. His responsibilities include financial services. Barnier has served as Environment Minister, Minister for European Affairs, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Agriculture and Fisheries Minister. Barnier said prior to his appointment that: “The European Commission is going to have to learn lessons from this crisis, and propose how to fight it, through regulation, through governance, with European policies, and also a new programme of sustainable growth…”. The expansion and protection of the internal market and financial services regulation are expected to be his main priorities. At the press event to announce the new Commissioner, the President also announced that a UK national, Jonathan Faull, would be appointed Director-General for Internal Market and Services. This was interpreted as a gesture to the City of London, where many fear heavy-handed regulation of the financial sector from the new Commissioner. Responsibilities: DG Internal Market and Services (MARKT); Office of Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).
- Chef du Cabinet – Olivier Guersent, a French national, currently head of the European Commission’s Cartels Directorate in DG Competition. He was previously an adviser to former Competition Commissioner Karel van Miert, and served as Deputy-Chef in the Cabinet of current Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
Competition, Joaquin Almunia (Spain, S&D). Almunia returns to the new Commission as a Vice-President with one of the heavyweight posts. He is currently European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. Almunia has a long and distinguished career in politics, academia and Parliament. He joined the Prodi Commission in late 2004 to succeed Pedro Solbes who returned to domestic politics. In media circles, Almunia has been described as “considered and reflective” and “an experienced hand”. Almunia has set out the reform of the financial sector as a primary priority for his new mandate. Speculation is rife as to Almunia’s likely position on EU antitrust and regulatory policy – some believe he is likely to take a softer approach than Neelie Kroes on antitrust cases as his trade union background will make him sensitive to the impact of large fines on EU businesses and jobs. Others believe his centre-left political background could make him tougher on big business. Responsibilities: DG Competition (COMP). Competency changes: The state aid competencies in DG Transport and Energy move to DG COMP.
- Chef du Cabinet – Carlos Martinez-Mongay. Martinez is currently head of unit in DG Economic and Financial Affairs dealing with Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal. Almunia, Martinez and the EU Competition Director General designate – Dutchman Alexander Italianer – all have backgrounds in economics.
Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn (Finland, ELDR). Olli Rehn is the current European Commissioner for Enlargement, and comes back to the College to lead the powerful Directorate-General Economic and Monetary Affairs. Rehn was previously an advisor to the Prime Minister of Finland and a Member of the European Parliament. He also led the cabinet of a previous Finnish Commissioner, Erkki Liikanen. Rehn described economic recovery as his top priority, as well as the expansion of the eurozone. Responsibilities: DG Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECFIN).
- Chef du Cabinet – Timo Pesonen, who previously served as Special Adviser on International Affairs for former Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen.
Trade, Karel de Gucht (Belgium, ELDR). De Gucht is former Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the current Commissioner for Development. He has been a Member of the Belgian, Flemish and European Parliaments. De Gucht has emphasized the importance for Europe to “fight for its place in tomorrow’s world” through liberal values and democratic ideals. In terms of political priorities for De Gucht, the conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations at the end of 2010 and the improvement of economic aspects of EU-USA relations are said to be top priorities. Responsibilities: DG TRADE. Competency changes: Co-ordination of the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council (TEC) moves to DG TRADE.
- Chef du Cabinet – Marc Vanheukelen, a Belgian Liberal like De Gucht and currently his Chef de Cabinet. Previously he has been Head of Unit for Relations with the United States in the Commission and Deputy Head of Cabinet to the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, dealing with international trade in particular.
Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani (Italy, EPP). Tajani is currently a Vice President of the Commission, a role he will continue in the new College. He was an officer in the Italian Air Force and later a journalist, and is a founding member of Forza Italia, where among other things; he was Prime Minister Berlusconi’s spokesperson. He served in the European Parliament and was President of the European People’s Party in the Parliament. Tajani became Commissioner for Transport in 2008. Under his new mandate, Tajani will co-ordinate efforts to boost industrial cooperation across the EU with a particular emphasis on new green technologies. Among the priorities set out by Tajani following his nomination by Barroso are the strategic framework for an integrated industrial policy and the implementation of the Small Business Act. Responsibilities: DG Enterprise and Industry (ENTR); European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Competency changes: Better Regulation Unit moves to the Secretariat-General. Pharmaceutical Products and Cosmetics Units move to DG Health, European Medicines Agency moves to Health and Consumer Policy; Trans-Atlantic Economic Council (TEC) moves to DG TRADE; Satellite Navigation Units move to DG ENTR.
- Chef du Cabinet – Antonio Preto, a lawyer by training, stays on as head of Cabinet, having served in this position in Mr Tajani’s previous posting as Transport Commissioner. Prior to joining the Commissioner’s Cabinet, Preto worked in the European Parliament, first as an administrator and lastly in the Cabinet of the former President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering.
Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, Algirdas Šemeta (Lithuania, EPP). Šemeta was Commissioner for Financial Planning and Budget from July 2009, following Dalia Grybauskaité, who became President of Lithuania. Responsibilities: DG Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD).
- Chef du Cabinet – Stephen Quest will continue in post.
Transport, Siim Kallas (Estonia, ELDR). Kallas returns as a Vice-President of the Commission. As Commissioner for Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-fraud, Kallas implemented the ‘European Transparency Initiative’, to increase EU funding accountability and imposing more transparency on lobbying. Responsibilities: DG Transport to be created out of DG Transport and Energy (TREN); European Railway Agency (ERA); European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA); Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency; Competency changes: The state aid competencies currently in DG TREN will move to DG Competition (COMP). The Satellite Navigation Units move to DG Enterprise and Industry.
- Chef du Cabinet – Hendrik Hololei.
Energy, Günter Oettinger (Germany, EPP) Oettinger is First Minister for Baden-Württemberg, one of the biggest regions in Germany. He has an academic background in law and economics and has held a series of political roles since the early eighties. In 1991, he became president of the CDU group in the State Parliament. In response to his appointment, Oettinger rejected claims that he would campaign for nuclear power, but would rather advocate an “energy mix that would enable the EU to be as self-sufficient as possible”. The Energy Commissioner will most likely focus on the integration of energy markets, the development of the so-called “smart” electricity transmission grid and security of supply, as well as energy efficiency and the more rapid introduction of low-carbon technologies. Contrary to some indications, he will not gain control over funding earmarked for energy research in other Directorates-General. Responsibilities: DG Energy (DG Energy and Transport to be split. Competency changes: The state aid competencies in DG Transport and Energy (TREN) move to DG COMP.
- Chef du Cabinet – Michael Köhler, a German national, is currently head of Cabinet for Commissioner Borg. Köhler has an academic background from the University of Bonn, but also worked in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development. He joined the Commission in 1994, where he has worked in foreign, maritime and other policy areas.
Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, (The Netherlands, ELDR). Kroes is the current Commissioner for Competition and returns as a Vice President. She has a reputation as a tough no-nonsense Commissioner. Her steady approach in implementing the Microsoft antitrust decision and her decision to impose a record fine on Intel, suggest that she will be a formidable operator with this new portfolio. Kroes is likely to try and push investment in broadband infrastructure in particular. In her previous role she was keen to make provisions for state aid to ensure people had access to broadband. She will also undoubtedly look into ways of unlocking the digital single market and try to find an economic model to support creative content online and fight piracy, seen as a big challenge of the digital age. Responsibilities: DG Information Society (INFSO); European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). Competency changes: The MEDIA Programme Unit moves from DG INFSO to DG Education and Culture.
- Chef du Cabinet – Antony Whelan, who became known at DG Competition for his rigorous approach to the enforcement of competition policy. A lawyer by training, he previously worked in the European Commission’s legal service where, amongst other things, he headed the Commission team defending the fine against Microsoft before the European Court of First Instance. Whelan studied law at Trinity College Dublin and Cambridge University before qualifying as a barrister in Dublin.
Climate Action (a new DG), Connie Hedegaard (Denmark, EPP). Hedegaard is Denmark’s Minister for Climate and Energy, a post she has held since late 2007. She will be President and Chairperson of the COP 15 negotiations in December. She played a leading role in the negotiations leading up to COP 15. Hedegaard was a member of the Danish Parliament during the 1980s and also worked in broadcast and print journalism. Under her new mandate, Hedegaard will no doubt work closely with Industry Commissioner, Antonio Tajani, and the new Energy and Environment Commissioners. The new Climate Action Commissioner will be responsible for the New Entrants’ Reserve of the ETS and its use for renewable energy and CCS among others. The new DG will be set up in the first half of 2010 from Directorate C of DG Environment and other units.
- Chef du Cabinet – Peter Vis, a Dutch national and currently a member of Energy Commissioner Piebalgs’ Cabinet. The overriding aim of the new portfolio is to ensure that the EU meets its 2020 GHG emission reduction and other targets. Hedegaard and Vis will have responsibility for developing and implementing the EU ETS, promoting links with other carbon trading systems, and promoting the development of low-carbon adaptation technologies.
Environment, Janez Potočnik (Slovenia, ELDR). Potočnik was previously the well-respected Commissioner for Science and Research. Potočnik will focus on issues such as environmental protection, preserving biodiversity and furthering environmentally-friendly industry. In response to fears that his portfolio could be overshadowed by that of the Climate Change Commissioner, Potočnik stressed that it will enable all environment-related issues to receive the attention they deserve. The policy areas the Commissioner is expected to focus on include air, land and water management policies in addition to biodiversity negotiations. Responsibilities: DG Environment (ENV); European Environmental Agency (EEA). Competency changes: Climate Directorate ENV C moves to the new DG for Climate Action (except the Clean Air Unit C.3), Biotechnology and pesticides unit move from the Environment Directorate-General to the Health and Consumer Directorate-General.
- Chef du Cabinet – Kurt Vandenberghe, a Belgian national and a member of Cabinet since 1999, first with Commissioner Philippe Busquin and then with Commissioner Potocnik, the former and current Commissioners responsible for the Science and Research remit. Vandenberghe was promoted to Head of Cabinet last year and will move with Commissioner Potocnik to the Environment portfolio. Prior to his time in the Cabinet he worked in DG Transport.
Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli (Malta – EPP). Dalli worked in the private sector in shipping, advertising, textiles and consulting. In politics, he has been Minister for Economic Affairs, Finance, and Foreign Affairs and lastly, Social Policy. Responsibility for the pharmaceutical sector moved from DG Enterprise and Industry to Dalli’s DG despite resistance from the pharmaceutical industry. Among the priorities set out by Dalli for his term as Commissioner include ensuring the effectiveness of European healthcare systems as well as coordinating Member State responses to human and animal pandemics. Responsibilities: DG Health and Consumers (SANCO); Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO); European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC); European Food Safety Authority (EFSA); European Medicines Agency (EMEA); Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC). Competency changes: Pharmaceutical Products and Cosmetics Units move to DG SANCO; Biotechnology, Pesticides and Health Unit moves to DG SANCO, Consumer Contract and Marketing Law moves to DG Justice, Liberty and Security.
- Chef du Cabinet – Joanna Darmanin, who was Deputy Head of Cabinet for Joe Borg, the Maltese Fisheries Commissioner. Before joining the Commission, she worked in the Private Secretariats of the Foreign Minister and the President of Malta.
Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding (Luxembourg, EPP). Reding returns to the Commission for a third term, again as a Vice-President. She has served as Commissioner for Information Society and Media and previously was responsible for Education, Culture, Youth, Media and Sports. Reding’s responsibility for the e-privacy element of the Telecoms Package while Commissioner for Information Society and Media, which significantly strengthened the rights of internet users, will facilitate her work on the re-writing of EU data protection laws which are up for review in 2010. Commissioner Reding is widely expected to make privacy one of her main priorities for the next five years. The last Commission did little to address the issue of privacy in the digital age and Reding will undoubtedly want to leave her mark in this area. Behavioural advertising and cloud computing are also likely to be focus areas. Responsibilities: Directorates D and E of DG Justice, Liberty and Security (JLS); European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA); European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE); European Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST); DG Communication (COMM); Publications Office (OP). Competency changes: Consumer Contract and Marketing Law moves to DG JLS from DG Health as part of the Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship portfolio.
- Chef du Cabinet – Martin Selmayr will lead the Cabinet of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Commissioner, Viviane Reding. Prior to his job as spokesman for Commissioner Reding, a job he held from late 2004, he worked for the European Central Bank, and for the international media company Bertelsmann, where he also led their Brussels office.
Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström (Sweden – ELDR). is currently Minister for European Union Affairs. Prior to her appointment in October 2006, she served as a Member of the European Parliament. As an MEP she was a member of the Committee on Constitutional and Foreign Affairs. Ahead of her appointment, Malmström stated that it would be an “an honour to lead the Union’s fight against cross-border crime and human trafficking, and to put in place a common asylum policy while also creating ways for legal migration to Europe.” Reacting to news of her announcement, Malmström looks forward to cooperating closely with Commissioner Reding, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, in the fight against crime and in creating an effective asylum and migration policy. Responsibilities: Directorates B, C and F of DG Justice, Liberty and Security (JLS) (Directorate A will serve both the Home Affairs portfolio and the Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship portfolio); (FRONTEX, EUROPOL, CEPOL Visa System (VIS II) and Schengen System (SIS II); European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
- Chef du Cabinet – Maria (Mia) Åsenius, who is currently State Secretary to Cecilia Malmström in her role as Minister for EU Affairs. Åsenius, with an academic background in business and economics, was previously an adviser to European Parliament President Pat Cox, and later became deputy Head of Cabinet for Commissioner Olli Rehn before returning to work with Malmström in Sweden.
DG Justice, Liberty and Security (JLS) functions as a common executive for the two Commissioners with JLS responsibilities, Viviane Reding and Cecilia Malmström, a novel arrangement for this critical source of European legislation!
Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolos (Romania, EPP). Dacian Ciolos is a former Minister for Agriculture. With a background in agricultural engineering, Ciolos is currently completing a PhD in agricultural economics in France. He has served as a Manager for the SAPARD Programme (agriculture programme for accession countries) at the Commission’s Delegation in Romania, worked as an adviser to the Agriculture Minister and served as Minister himself from October 2007 to December 2008. A close ally of France, his appointment has been broadly welcomed by President Sarkozy who claimed it is a “second victory” for France in terms of the proposed reforms to the Common Agriculture Policy in the coming years. Responsibilities: DG Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI).
- Chef du Cabinet – rumoured to be former Portuguese Agriculture Minister and former Commission official Jaime Silva, but this is unconfirmed at the time of writing.
Budget and Financial Programming, Janusz Lewandowski (Poland, EPP). Lewandowski is an economist and politician who advised the Solidarność movement. He served as Minister for Privatization in the early nineties. He was appointed observer to the European Parliament and elected in 2004, where he was Chair and later Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee. Mr. Lewandowski acknowledged the scale of his portfolio by stating that “Europe is only now starting to overcome the economic crisis. The budget needs to be shaped in a way which will allow the East to catch up with the West, but also to ensure that Europe becomes more dynamic on the global competition stage”. Responsibilities: DG Budget (BUDG).
- Chef du Cabinet – Marc Lemaitre, who is the former Head of Cabinet for outgoing Commissioner Samecki.
Development, Andris Piebalgs (Latvia, EPP). Piebalgs returns to the College with a new portfolio. He has worked as an academic, teacher, Member of Parliament, diplomat and as a Minister of Finance. Piebalgs is Commissioner for Energy and is seen to have been highly successful. On news of his appointment, Piebalgs acknowledged his new mandate as ”one of the toughest portfolios”, which will involve efforts to reduce global poverty in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Responsibilities: DG Development (DEV). Competency changes: The development part of EuropeAid-Cooperation Office (AIDCO) moves to his DG.
- Chef du Cabinet – Christopher Jones, who is currently Director of New and Renewable Sources of Energy in Directorate-General TREN. He is the former Deputy Head of Cabinet to Piebalgs where he was responsible for the co-ordination and strategic development of energy policy. Jones’ move is interesting, as he had moved back into the services about a year ago. Jones is credited with some of the more forward-thinking policies in energy efficiency measures from the current Commission. Prior to this, he held a number of positions in the Commission’s Directorate General for Energy.
Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou (Cyprus, ELDR). Vassiliou is currently European Commissioner for Health, a post she has fulfilled since March 2008. She has an extensive career in politics and law, and has serving as a parliamentarian in Cyprus. Vassiliou can be expected to build up a strong profile as she successfully did during her term as Health Commissioner. Responsibilities: DG Education and Culture (EAC); DG Translation (DGT); DG Interpretation (SCIC); Translation Centre for the Bodies of the EU (CdT); European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP); European Training Foundation (ETF); European Institute of Technology (EIT). Competency changes: The MEDIA Programme Unit and the Marie Curie Programme Units moves to DG EAC.
- Chef du Cabinet – Philippe Brunet will continue to lead the Cabinet of Androulla Vassiliou.
Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor (Hungary, S&D). Andor has an academic background in economics. He was adviser to Hungary’s former Prime Minister Gyurcsány, and since 2005, has been a member of the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Hungarian Prime Minister, Gordon Bajnai, welcomed the importance of being awarded this “crisis management position” and added that social development represents one of the greatest challenges in the new Member States.” Responsibilities: DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL); European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound); European Agency for Health and safety at Work (EU-OSHA). Competency changes: Equality between Men/Women, Action against Discrimination, Civil Society Directorate to fall under the responsibility of the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
- Chef du Cabinet – Anabela Gago, who is currently deputy head of Cabinet for Tax and Customs Union Commissioner Kovacs.
Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle (Czech Republic, S&D). Füle is currently Czech Minister for European Affairs. He has worked at the United Nations and was the representative of the Czech Republic to the UN Security Council, as well as Ambassador to Lithuania and the United Kingdom. His appointment comes at a time when the EU will not enlarge beyond Iceland and Croatia whose accession is considered a given. Responsibilities: DG Enlargement (ELARG); Competency changes: The Neighbourhood parts of DG External Relations (RELEX) and of the EuropeAid-Cooperation Office (AIDCO).
- Chef du Cabinet – Simon Mordue.
Inter-institutional Relations and Administration, Maroš Šefčovič (Slovakia, S&D). Šefčovič will be a Vice-President in the new College. Šefčovič served in the Slovak Foreign Service where he led EU and NATO departments and the private office of the Foreign Minister. He is currently the Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the EU. Šefčovič welcomed news of his appointment, saying that the effective implementation of the Lisbon Treaty in addition to improving inter-institutional dialogue will be his primary objectives. Responsibilities: DG Personnel and Administration (ADMIN); DG Informatics (DIGIT); Office for Administration and Payment of Individual Entitlements (PMO); Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels (OIB); Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Luxembourg (OIL); European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO); European Administration School (EAS).
- Chef du Cabinet – Peter Javorcík.
Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn (Republic of Ireland, ELDR). Geoghegan-Quinn was Minister for Justice and Minister for European Affairs. She was the first female cabinet minister. From 1999 she has served as Ireland’s representative on the EU Court of Auditors. The Research and Innovation Commissioner will play a key role in the drive to maintain and create jobs, and stimulate economic growth. Responsibilities: DG Research (RTD); Joint Research Centre (JRC); European Research Council (ERC); Research Executive Agency (REA); European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Competency changes: The Marie Curie Programme Units move to DG Education and Culture (EAC).
- Chef du Cabinet – John Bell, who is currently Chef de Cabinet to the European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Kuneva. He joined the Commission in 1993, working on policies related to Central and Eastern Europe, but also trade and other issues. He was a member of the Cabinet of Irish Commissioner David Byrne, Health and Consumer Protection from 1999 to 2004. One of the major policy issues will be how best to redirect research budgets towards green and decarbonising technologies.
International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria) sailed through her confirmation audition in the European Parliament on 3rd February (after MEPs had cast doubt on the abilities of previous candidate Rumiana Jeleva). Georgieva is a previous vice-president of the World Bank. Responsibilities: DG Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). Competency changes: Civil Protection Units move to DG ECHO.
- Chef du Cabinet – Jochen Richter, who was deputy head of Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban’s Cabinet. A German national, Richter previously worked in the Conciliations and Co-decision Secretariat of the European Parliament.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki (Greece, S&D). Damanaki has a degree in chemical engineering. She was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1977, representing the Communist Party, and stayed in Parliament until 1993. She was later elected to Parliament for the social democratic PASOK, where she is coordinator of education and culture issues. Ahead of her appointment, Damanaki stated that the European Union must adopt a reformist agenda in order to ensure its economic survival. Responsibilities: DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE), Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA).
- Chef du Cabinet – Georgios Markopoulitis.
Regional policy, Johannes Hahn (Austria, EPP). Hahn has been Minister for Science and Research since 2007. He has held positions in politics and management positions in the private sector, included in a gambling company. In response to his appointment, Hahn highlighted the importance of pursuing a cohesive policy with a particular emphasis on regional research activities aimed at enhancing Europe’s regions. Responsibilities: DG Regional Policy (REGIO).
- Chef du Cabinet – Hubert Gambs, who was previously in the Cabinet of Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner.
The individual Commissioners’ political affiliations are indicated as:
- EPP (European People’s Party) for those from the centre right.
- S&D (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) for those from the centre-left.
- ELDR (European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) for liberals.
Chefs du Cabinet
What is the role of the “Chefs du Cabinet”?
Thanks for the source information are due to Hill & Knowlton.