EU Commission appoints new secretary-general

By on 01/07/2015
EU Commission appoints new secretary-general

Alexander Italianer has been appointed new secretary-general of the European Commission, amidst a reshuffle of the organisation’s senior management team.

Italianer, who is currently director-general of the Competition Directorate General , will take up his post on 1 September, following Catherine Day’s decision to retire.

An econometrics graduate from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, he first joined the commission – the executive branch of the European Union – in 1985 and has since held various roles.

Italianer was deputy secretary general in charge of the better regulation agenda and chairman of the impact assessment board between 2006 and 2010. He has worked in the cabinets of President Santer, commissioner Verheugen, commissioner Telička and president Barroso, and was also director for international economic and financial affairs between 2002 and 2004.

In his new role, he will be heading up the commission’s secretariat-general, which is tasked with ensuring the overall coherence of the commission’s work – both in shaping new policies, and in steering them through the other EU institutions, and with making sure that EU laws apply correctly and support the president in leading on key policies.

The secretariat comprises around 600 staff, who all report directly to the president of the commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The other moves in the commission’s senior management team involve 33 DGs and 36 deputy DGs who will all take up their new roles on 1 September.

Among newly-appointed DGs is Jonathan Faull, who will head up a new task force for strategic issues related to the UK referendum.

In a press release published on 24 June, Juncker thanked Day’s work leading the secretariat and added that “I am sure our new secretary-general, Alexander Italianer, will build on her tremendous success.”

While he praised the commission’s team, he said that “there are still too few women among our senior managers” and that “it remains my firm intention to change that during my mandate.”

And Kristalina Georgieva, vice-president in charge of human resources and budget, said that she is “strongly committed to bring the share of female managers to 40% by the end of this mandate.”

Juncker was appointed for a five-year term in November 2014.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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