Today the Council appointed three new directors-general: Isabel Riaño as the new Director-General for Competitiveness and Trade (COMPET), Cesare Onestini as the new Director-General for Agriculture, Fisheries, Social Affairs and Health (LIFE), and Thomas Westphal as the new Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN).
They will start in their new positions in January and February 2022.
Isabel Riaño, new Director-General for Competitiveness and Trade (COMPET)
Isabel Riaño, a Spanish national, is currently the director-general in charge of European and International Affairs in the cabinet of the Spanish First Vice President of the Government and Minister of economy and digital transformation. She is an expert in international economic affairs, and especially in economic and monetary issues within the European Union.
COMPET is a newly established directorate-general in charge of developing the EU’s competitiveness and international trade policy. The directorate-general deals with legislative work in the area of competitiveness (the single market, industry, research and space) and international trade. It also assists the work of the President of the European Council in this area.
The directorate-general will also assist the Foreign Affairs Council when it meets in its dedicated format of trade ministers, as well as the Trade Policy Committee, a high-level body established by the treaties.
Cesare Onestini, new Director-General for Agriculture, Fisheries, Social Affairs and Health (LIFE)
Cesare Onestini is an Italian national who combines a background in education and training policy with extensive experience in policy development and management. He is currently Director of the European Training Foundation. Previsouly, he served in various positions at the EEAS and the European Commission.
LIFE ensures that the work of the Council in its ‘Agriculture/Fisheries’ and ‘Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs’ configurations is conducted in a manner that is efficient and consistent with the overall objectives of the European Union. It also assists the work of the President of the European Council.
Cesare Onestini suceeds Ángel Boixareu Carrera, who will retire at the end of 2021.
Thomas Westphal, new Director-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN)
Thomas Westphal, a German national, is an economist with a long career in Germany’s public administration in the fields of finance, economics and EU policies. He is currently Director-General for European Policy at the German Federal Ministry of Finance and Director at the European Investment Bank.
ECOFIN is responsible for EU policy in three main areas: economic policy, taxation issues and the regulation of financial services. It also prepares the EU’s annual budget and takes care of the legal and practical aspects of the single currency, the euro. The directorate-general also assists the Eurogroup meetings of ministers for finance of the euro area member states and assists the work of the President of the European Council.
Thomas Westphal replaces Carsten Pillath, who will retire at the end of 2021.