The European Commission has approved a far-reaching restructuring of its mobility and transport department and changes and appointments in several other departments.
Although there is only one appointment in the upper levels of Commission management – that of deputy director-general for environment – there are dozens of director posts affected by yesterday’s decisions.
The Commission’s ‘spring reorganisation package’ also includes the establishment of some temporary taskforces, together with announcements of who will head them.
The Commission’s mobility and transport department will be restructured to reflect more closely the thinking of the transport white paper that was published on 28 March, emphasising the need to integrate different modes of transport. At present, the department is organised with a directorate for each transport sector.
The new structure, which will be completed in July, will have, in addition to a horizontal directorate, one directorate for European mobility networks, including trans-European networks, railways, ports and inland navigation. One directorate will deal with innovative and sustainable mobility, which includes clean transport, urban mobility, innovative transport systems, intelligent transport systems and road safety. A fourth directorate will be responsible for freight – as opposed to passenger – transport and will cover maritime and land transport, logistics and maritime security. The existing directorate for aviation survives unchanged.
Development and aid
The Commission has also approved a new structure for the directorate-general for development and co-operation-EuropeAid. The department was formed on 1 January by merging what remained of the old DG Development, after many staff had been transferred into the European External Action Service (EEAS), with the EuropeAid Co-operation Office. The new structure rationalises the directorates to reduce overlaps.
Richard Weber, a Frenchman who is currently a deputy director-general, has been put in charge of a taskforce on international climate finance, which will leave the department with two vacancies at the level of deputy director-general.
International climate finance, headed by Richard Weber, reports to DG Climate Action
Future stability of the farming sector (with special emphasis on milk), headed by Lars Hoelgaard, reports by December 2011 to DG Agriculture
Sanitary and phytosanitary relations with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, headed by Paul Van Geldorp, reports by February 2012 to DG Sanco
Dialogue with international organisations, headed by Luis Riera Figueras, reports to DG Devco
Luis Riera Figueras, a Spaniard who is currently DG Devco’s director for thematic issues of development policy, is to head a taskforce on relations with international organisations with the status of principal adviser.
Pierre Amilhat, a Frenchman, is moving from the department for maritime affairs and fisheries to become director for resources, belatedly following DG Devco’s director-general, Fokion Fotiadis, a Greek who used to be director-general for maritime affairs and fisheries.
Gustavo Martín Prada, a Spaniard who is currently director for Latin America in the EEAS, will return to the Commission as DG Devco’s director of development policy.
Two-thirds of directors and around half of the heads of unit have moved as part of the reorganisation at DG Devco.
Health and consumer protection
A new directorate is being created at the department for health and consumer protection (DG Sanco) to deal with health systems and products. It will be headed by Andrzej Jan Rys, a Pole who is currently director for public health and risk assessment. The department is also creating a new unit dealing with innovation.
The appointment of Ladislav Miko, a Czech, as one of DG Sanco’s deputy director-generals left a vacancy at the environment department. The Commission yesterday approved the appointment of Alan Seatter, a Briton, as deputy director-general for the environment. He is currently director for better regulation in the secretariat-general, and before that was director for north America, east Asia, Australasia and western Europe in the department for external relations.
Economic and financial affairs
Stefan Pflüger, a German, has been appointed director in the Commission’s economic and financial affairs department – confirming him in an influential role as the secretary of the in-house bodies that prepare meetings of finance ministers, the Economic and Financial Committee and the Economic Policy Committee. Pflüger has been performing this role in an acting capacity since the previous occupant, Odile Renaud-Basso, a French national, joined the private office of Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, in February last year.
Eric van Ginderachter, a Belgian, has been appointed director for cartels in the competition department. He is currently a head of unit responsible for state aids.
Among the other structural changes, a unit is being created at the internal market department devoted to financial stability. The department for information society and media and the department for regional policy are each to have an additional adviser.
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