On Monday 28 November, Joaquín Almunia was elected unanimously by the CEPS Board of Directors as its new Chairman.
An experienced Spanish politician, Mr Almunia was a prominent member of the European Commission from 2004 until 2014, initially as Commissioner in charge of economic and financial affairs and, in the second Barroso Commission, as Vice-President in charge of competition policy. Reflecting on his prospective role as Chairman of the Board, Almunia remarked that he sees his main challenge as “steering CEPS through the difficulties that confront Europe at the moment”. He expressed “concerns over the future course of the European Union” and thinks “CEPS can play a valuable role here”. The CEPS Chair is appointed in a non-executive capacity. He acts as the chair of the board of trustees, which supervises management and sets the strategic direction of CEPS. The chair is nominated for a period of three years by the members of the board. Given the mission statement of the institute, “Thinking ahead for Europe”, the board and the chair in particular provide strategic guidance and advise CEPS in developing its research agenda. This with a view towards prioritising the allocation of CEPS’ energies, which is necessary considering the limited resources of the centre and its dependence on project financing.