The European Commission has decided on February 8, 2022, to appoint Barbara Brandtner as Director for the ‘Markets and cases III: Financial services’ Directorate in the Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP). This Commission department is responsible for EU policy on competition and for enforcing EU competition rules, in cooperation with national competition authorities. Barbara Brandtner, an Austrian national, is endowed with a deep knowledge of competition law enforcement and more than 25 years of experience in the Commission, of which close to 14 handling competition cases, with a particular emphasis on State aid and antitrust.
She has also acquired a considerable amount of experience in negotiations and in providing leadership. Ms Brandtner is currently Acting Director of ‘Markets and Cases III – Financial Services Activities’ where she is responsible for the enforcement of antitrust, merger and state aid rules in the financial services sector.
Between 2008 and 2020, she headed four units in the same Directorate-General. Earlier in her career, she took on the role of Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Neelie Kroes, responsible for Competition and was also Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Chris Patten, responsible for External Relations. Prior to joining the Legal Service of the Commission in 1996, she worked in Brussels as Associate of ‘Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton’, notably in charge of competition law.
The European Commission has also decided to appoint Annika Eriksgård as Director for ‘International economic, financial relations and global governance’ in the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN). DG ECFIN is the Commission department responsible for EU policies promoting economic growth and recovery, higher employment, stable public finances and financial stability.
In her new position, Annika Eriksgård, a Swedish national, will build on her 30 years of professional experience in applied economics in both the private and public sector, dealing with both advanced and emerging economies. In addition to her experience in economic diplomacy, her negotiation skills and robust management skills will make her particularly suitable for the position at hand.
Since 2020, she has been Deputy Director for ECFIN’s international directorate where she e.g. led the EU support through macro-financial assistance to 10 of our neighbourhood countries to better weather the economic fallout of the COVID pandemic. In the previous fifteen years, she occupied several management positions notably as Head of the unit dealing with G7, G20 and the International Monetary Fund; that for Macro-Financial Assistance to the EU’S neighbourhood; the Commission’s macro-economic forecasts; or the work in assessing the macroeconomic impact of the migration flows. She also represented the EU for 5 years in China. Prior to joining the Commission in 1996, she was Lead Forecaster at Swedbank Markets.
The European Commission has also appointed Elisa Roller as Director for the ‘Twin Transition, Economic and Social Affairs’ in the Secretariat-General. This department is responsible for the overall coherence of the Commission’s work – both in shaping new policies, and in steering them through the other EU institutions. Elisa Roller, a Spanish and Dutch national, will draw on her excellent knowledge of the Commission’s strategies and policies, her strong communication and negotiation skills, as well as her capacity to lead crosscutting Commission-wide teams across multiple Directorates-General with the aim of producing quality policy proposals. She is currently managing the unit responsible for Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia in the Recovery and Resilience Task Force where she coordinates and steers the successful roll-out of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. She also headed three units in the Directorate-General for Maritime affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) and was twice Deputy Head of Unit in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO). Previously, she was a Policy Analyst for the Lisbon Task Force of the Secretariat-General. Prior to joining the Commission in 2003, she worked as a Lecturer in European Politics in the University of Manchester. She holds a Ph.D in Government from The London School of Economics.