The European Commission decided today to appoint Ms Karen Banks as Deputy Director-General in its Legal Service and Mr Francisco Fonseca Morillo as Deputy Director-General in the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers as of 16 November 2015. Both will strengthen the top management of these two important Commission's departments by bringing highly relevant expertise to the jobs.
Ms Banks, an Irish national, joined the European Commission's Legal Service from private practice in 1983. Since then, she has worked in several legal teams covering a diverse range of policy areas, including competition, social affairs, external relations and business law. Moreover, she gathered political experience as a Member of Commissioner Padraig Flynn's Cabinet when he was Commissioner for Employment, Industrial relations and Social Affairs. Additionally, Ms Banks has published widely on a broad range of EU policies. It is the combination of a sharp legal mind, more than 30 years of relevant work experience and broad policy experience that makes her ideally suited to joining the Legal Service's top management team.
Mr Fonseca Morillo, a Spanish national, joined the Commission in 1986. Since then, his career has taken him through a number of important assignments, particularly in the field of justice and security. In addition, he was able to gather valuable and broad policy experience when advising the Commission during the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference leading up to the Amsterdam Treaty. Likewise, as Deputy Head and then Head of Cabinet for Commissioner António Vitorino, then responsible for Justice and Home Affairs, Mr Fonseca Morillo was deeply involved in judicial cooperation and fundamental rights issues, including with regards to the Conventions on the Charter of Fundamental Rights and on the future of the EU, respectively. In 2004, he joined the Directorate-General for Freedom, Security and Justice as a Director for Civil Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. His subsequent posting as Head of the European Commission Representation in Spainbetween 2009 and 2015 gave him the opportunity to engage with stakeholders and explain European policies on the ground. He returned to the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers as Director for Criminal Justice earlier this year. Given his deep expertise and broad range of experience, both in Brussels and beyond, Mr Fonseca Morillo has the competences to be an excellent Deputy-Director General for Justice and Consumers.