Following the proposal of President von der Leyen, Ilze Juhansone, who is currently the acting Secretary-General of the European Commission, has been appointed today as the Commission's new Secretary-General with immediate effect.
Ilze Juhansone will be the eighth Secretary-General of the European Commission to assume this post. She has served as Deputy Secretary-General of the Commission responsible for interinstitutional and external relations since October 2015.
Ilze Juhansone joined the Latvian Foreign Service in 2008 and served, among others, as Under-Secretary of State and the Head of the European Union Directorate. She was the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the European Union as of March 2011. Prior to the Foreign Ministry, Ilze Juhansone held senior positions in Latvia's Ministries of the Interior and Justice.
On 4 May 2014, Ilze Juhansone was awarded the Order of the Three Stars, 3rd Class. Ambassador Juhansone was the Head of the Permanent Representation of Latvia to the EU in Brussels during Latvia's first Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Ilze Juhansone has graduated from the Department of Philology of the University of Latvia as a teacher of Latvian language and literature as well as graduating from the Department of Law.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, greeted the appointment: “Since my arrival last summer, Ilze Juhansone has shown herself to be both highly competent and knowledgeable. With her broad experience in the Commission, her leadership and management skills, as well as her excellent connections to the Member States and other European institutions, she will be a key player in helping to deliver our agenda. I very much look forward to working with her in the future.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, said: “In line with the commitments taken by the Commission last year, I am confident that we found a very competent person for the job as Secretary-General. She proved not only to be a very strong candidate throughout the selection procedure but also brings with her strong knowledge, personal qualities and the necessary professional experience to successfully master the challenges ahead.”
The Secretariat-General helps steer policy development by the College and supports the whole Commission by coordinating and guiding its civil service.
As the main service of the President, it closely coordinates its work with the other Presidential services and the central services that, together with the Secretariat-General, ensure the smooth operation of the institution. In agreement with the President, the Secretariat-General also provides advice and support to the Vice-Presidents in the performance of their role as deputies of the President and coordinators of Groups of Commissioners and Project Teams, as set up by the President.
The vacancy notice for the Secretary-General's position was published on 5 December 2019. Serving Directors-General and Deputy Directors-General were invited to put themselves forward for this role. The selection was run in accordance with the European Commission's rules and practices for the selection and appointment of senior management staff in the Commission.
Three officials applied for the function of Secretary-General and were interviewed by the Consultative Committee on Appointments. Following these interviews, all three candidates were put forward for further interviews with the President von der Leyen and Commissioner Hahn.