The European Commission has decided today (Febr. 14, 2023) to appoint Maciej Popowski as Director-General for its Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO). This department coordinates the response of the EU to disaster and humanitarian emergencies through the provision of humanitarian aid and protection assistance. The date of effect of his appointment is March1, 2023.
Maciej Popowski, a Polish national, has 15 years of first-hand experience in the Commission and other EU bodies in dealing with crisis situations, development policy challenges as well as a broad range of peace and security matters, including military and civilian aspects. He has played a key role in calibrating the EU’s response to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Ukraine caused by the Russia invasion. His new position will allow him to make the most of his established leadership skills together with his thorough experience in inter-institutional and international negotiations and his refined sense of political communication.
Maciej Popowski has been Deputy Director-General at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) since 2016. In this capacity, he was responsible for migration, security, relations with the European Parliament, Turkey and Southern neighbourhood. From September 2020 until January 2022, he was Acting Director-General at the same DG. Between 2011 and 2015, he served as Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) where he supervised the Common Security and Defence Policy, security policy and conflict prevention as well as development policy. From 2009 until 2011, he headed the Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek. Prior to that, he was Director in the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO).
Before joining the Commission in 2008, he worked for several years in the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU, including as Deputy Head of Mission and Ambassador to the Political and Security Committee. He was also closely involved in the accession negotiations of Poland to the EU.