The FINANCIAL — The European Commission has on June 24 decided to appoint Alexander Italianer as new Secretary-General following Catherine Day’s decision to retire from active service as of 1 September 2015.
The Commission has also decided to reshuffle its senior management team. Continuity and change being equally important for the success of this College, a significant number of current senior managers will be taking on new responsibilities.
Following the re-organisation of the Commission in November 2014, today’s decision is a further step in gearing the Commission towards effective delivery. It concludes an inclusive process set in motion by the President in March 2015. First, Commissioners proposed three names of senior managers they would like to see as their Director-General. Then, the President consulted the relevant Vice-Presidents on the proposals submitted to him, counting on the valuable support and advice of Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, according to the European Commission.
Presenting today’s decision, President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I want to wholeheartedly thank Catherine Day for her commitment and skilful steer of our administration for so many years. She played a crucial role in helping this new Commission to start at full speed. I am sure our new Secretary-General, Alexander Italianer, will build on her tremendous success. We have a strong team in place to deliver on Europe’s big priorities. At the same time, there are still too few women among our senior managers. It remains my firm intention to change that during my mandate”.
Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President in charge of Human Resources and Budget, said: “This is a team of talented and experienced professionals, who will work closely with the political leaders to deliver on the priorities of the Juncker Commission – the right people in the right place, at the right time. And I am strongly committed to bring the share of female managers to 40% by the end of this mandate.”
Today’s decision involves two types of moves among the current senior management team of 33 Directors-General, 36 Deputy Directors-General and 4 Hors Classe Advisers.
First, 11 current Directors-General will move department or take on other important assignments, respectively.
Second, eight current Deputy Directors-General, including two women, will become Directors-General.
Third, Jonathan Faull will take on the new Director-General position leading a Task Force responsible for strategic issues related to the UK Referendum, reporting directly to the President.
Fourth, three Director-General posts and 10 Deputy Director-General posts will be published in the near future. Further publications of Deputy Director-General posts will follow.
Finally, two Deputy Director-General posts and three Hors Classe Advisers will be created (whilst threecurrent Hors Classe Adviser posts will be suppressed).
With regard to gender balance, the situation remains unsatisfactory. Today’s re-shuffle could not address this issue because it was, by its nature, limited to moves among the current senior managers. The current team does not yet include a sufficient number of women.