European Interest

European Commission appoints new secretary-general

Flickr/PROEU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency/CC BY 2.0
Alexander Italianer, Secretary-General (left), Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission (center), Martin Selmayr, Head of Cabinet of Juncker (right)

Alexander Italianer, who has served as the Secretary-General of the European Commission since 2015, has announced his decision to retire. The 61-year-old Dutch European civil servant’s last day – after 32 years of service – is March 1.

“I want to express my deep gratitude to him for decades of loyal service to the European Commission and over the past three years to me as its president,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “I truly appreciated working with such an experienced and knowledgeable Secretary-General and I want to thank him for his skilful steer of our administration, as well as for having agreed to stay on for another month to ensure a smooth transition. I am also glad that he agreed to continue to advise me, after 1 April, as Special Adviser on strategic issues on the EU’s agenda, in particular the Multiannual Financial Framework and Brexit Preparedness.”

Based on Juncker’s proposal, the College has decided to appoint Martin Selmayr, the current Head of Cabinet of the President, as the new Secretary-General of the Commission.

Juncker’s current Diplomatic Adviser, Richard Szostak, will become his new Deputy Head of Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the Commission on February 21 decided on a number of appointments concerning top management.

“By appointing the best people to the right positions, we are determined to use the current window of opportunity and deliver on our political agenda,” said Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger in charge of Budget and Human Resources. “We are building on the experience of our senior managers, making sure they continue to serve the interest of this institution. I will continue to place a strong emphasis on achieving President Juncker’s target of at least 40% of women in the Commission’s management.”

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