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COLLEGE MEETING: European Commission strengthens its senior management by appointing 5 directors

31/10/2019 | Spotlight |  Daily News 30 / 10 / 2019

 Press release European Commission



The European Commission has today decided to strengthen its senior management by appointing 5 directors in its departments for humanitarian aid and crisis response, energy, justice and consumers, as well as to its Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB).

Mr Andreas Papaconstantinou, a Greek national, is becoming director in charge of “Neighbourhood and Middle East” in the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO). Mr Papaconstantinou, who joined the European Commission following a career with the Greek diplomatic service and positions in the Council of Europe and NATO, is currently a head of unit in the Commission’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries department (DG MARE).

Mr Michael Hager, a German national, has been appointed to the position of a director for “Energy Policy” in the Commission’s Energy department (DG ENER). He joined the Commission from the European Parliament in 2004 and has since then held a variety of jobs in the area of internal market, energy, digital economy and society. Since 2013, he has been heading the private office of Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, currently in charge of budget and human resources.

Mr Nils Behrndt, a German national, is becoming director in charge of the “Consumers” directorate in the Commission’s Justice and Consumers department (DG JUST). Mr Behrndt has been working in the European Commission since October 2000 and dealing with consumer policy for at least half of that time. Mr Behrndt also has management experience, having first become head of unit in 2009. Since 2013, he has been heading the private office of Commissioner Neven Mimica, currently in charge of International Cooperation and Development. The date on which these appointments take effect will be determined later.

The Commission has also decided to appoint, as of 1 November 2019, Ms Mona Björklund to the position of a director at the Commission’s Regularity Scrutiny Board. Ms Björklund, a Swedish national, joined the Commission in 2000 and has worked as a head of unit since 2014. Over the years, she held several positions linked to assessing the impact of EU legislation, including as head of unit for “Impact Assessments” in the Commission’s Secretariat General. She is currently head of unit for “Coordination and planning” in the Commission’s Mobility and Transport department (DG MOVE). 

Finally, Mr Ilkka Salmi, a Finnish national, has been appointed to the position of director for “Disaster Preparedness and Prevention” in the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO). Mr Salmi is currently the permanent secretary of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, after having served as a Director of the Commission’s Security Directorate between 2016 and 2018 and as a Director of the European Intelligence Analysis Centre with the European External Action Service (EEAS) between 2011 and 2015.


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