In February there have been new appointments in the European Commission, most of which are women. For what concerns DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Themis Christophidou is the new Director General. Ms Christophidou is a Cypriot national who, prior to this new appointment, served as a Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, and before that, as Deputy Head of Cabinet of the former Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou. Furthermore, Viviane Hoffman is the new Deputy Director General of DG EAC. Previously, she worked as Deputy Head of Cabinet of the former Commissioner for education and culture, Viviane Reding.
Concerning DG Research and Innovation, Jean-Enric Paquet will be the new Director General, supported by Signe Ratso who will act as Deputy Director General. Mr Paquet has previously served as Deputy Head of Cabinet of former Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin. Mr Ratso, on the other hand, previously worked in DG trade, where he focused on market access and industry.
These new appointments arrive in a pivotal moment for education and research in Europe. Some key decisions will be taken in the upcoming months, which will shape the future of European education: in May, the European Commission will release its proposals on the Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020 and the on the future Erasmus+ (among others). One can only hope that the experience collected by these newly appointed servants will be used wisely and will lead to the best possible solution in this turbulent time.