EC appoints new directors-generals for communication and for internal market

Photo: European Commission Commission's new Director-General for Communication, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen.

Yesterday and with effect of 16 March 2019, the EU Commission announced that current Deputy Secretary-General Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen is appointed as director-general of its Communication department. Meanwhile, Timo Pesonen, the current director-general of DG Communication, will be heading the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs department as of 1 March 2019. He will succeed Lowri Evans in that position, who will retire in the beginning of next month.

Ahrenkilde Hansen is a Danish national who, as one of three Deputy Secretaries-General, is currently the Commission's chief operating officer. She joined the Commission in 1995 and spent almost her entire career working on communication about the European Union and its policies, including as EU Commission spokeswoman under Presidents Prodi and Barroso (from 1999-2009). She was also the chief spokeswoman of the Commission from 2009 to 2014, before being in charge of the Commission's Representations in the Member States, as a director in DG Communication, from 2014 to 2018.

Timo Pesonen, a Finnish national, on the other side, is the current director-general of DG Communication with a distinguished career both outside and within the Commission. Before leading DG Communication from 2015 onwards, he headed the private office of Olli Rehn when the latter was vice-president for economic and monetary affairs and the euro between 2010 and 2014 and commissioner for enlargement from 2004 to 2009, respectively. He was also acting head of the Commission Representation in Helsinki from 2003 to 2004, Spokesman for former Commissioner Erkki Liikanen and, from 1997 to 2002, Special Adviser on EU Affairs to the then Prime Minister of Finland, Paavo Lipponen.

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