Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

The European Commission has decided today to appoint Joanna Szychowska as Director for the ‘Asia, Services and Digital Trade, Investment and Intellectual Property’ Directorate and Martin Lukas as Director for the ‘Trade defence’ Directorate in the Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE). DG TRADE is responsible for EU policy on trade with countries beyond the EU’s borders.

Joanna Szychowska, a Polish national, has a long experience in regulatory processes and negotiations, a deep knowledge of EU industrial policy, as well as EU institutional matters and legislative procedures. She is currently Head of Unit for `Mobility´ in the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) where she is responsible for the competitiveness of the automotive, maritime and railway, industries. Prior to that, she headed the ‘automotive and mobility industries’ Unit after having managed the ‘public procurement legislation’ Unit in the same DG. She was previously a member of the Cabinet of Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for Enterprise and Industry, and of Commissioner Danuta Hübner, in charge of Regional Policy. Joanna Szychowska started her career at a private law firm in Warsaw. Prior to joining the Commission in 2004, she acted as Director of the Department of the European Law in the Office of the Committee for European Integration in Warsaw, where she was in charge of the harmonisation of Polish law with EU law before Poland’s accession to the EU.

In his new position, Martin Lukas will build on his considerable experience in international negotiations, his thorough understanding of EU trade policy as well as his vast experience in EU external relations and trade defence policy. Martin Lukas, an Austrian national, has pursued a long career in DG Trade where he is currently Head of Unit for “Dispute Settlement and Legal Aspects of trade policy”. In this capacity, he was responsible for managing a team of legal officers dealing with trade disputes and legal aspects of trade negotiations as well as providing legal advice on institutional and market access matters. He was also overseeing the work on an EU strategy to deal with the blockage of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement system. Before joining this unit as Deputy Head of Unit in 2005, he was Head of Policy Section of the Trade Defence Directorate and Deputy Negotiator of the WTO Subsidies Agreement. He joined the Commission in 1996. He holds law degrees from the University of Vienna and the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.

The Commission also decided to appoint Hans van Steen as Principal Adviser for an integrated renewable energy strategy towards the 2050 carbon neutrality objective in the Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER), responsible for the EU’s energy policy. In his new position, Hans van Steen will draw on his strong innovation capacity, his solid background in EU funding instruments, his familiarity with the emerging energy system of the future as well as his thorough experience in EU energy policies and energy transition. Hans van Steen, a Danish national, is currently Adviser in DG ENER in charge of Just Transition, energy efficiency, innovation and research. As of 2018, he has been Acting Director for two Directorates in the same DG where he has dealt with the preparation of the Fit for 55 package, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy. Previously he worked for DG ENER in an adviser capacity, focusing on renewable energy, including bioenergy sustainability, energy research activities and certain international fora, including the Clean Energy Ministerial. He obtained further management experience by heading different units in DG ENER in earlier stages of his career. He joined the Commission in 1989 as a national expert. Prior to that, he was Head of Section in the Ministry for Energy in Copenhagen.