Ex-education director takes DG SANTE top spot

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Xavier Prats Monne takes on the role from Paola Testori Coggi who resigned following a 'sober' disciplinary inquiry
Xavier Prats Monne takes on the role from Paola Testori Coggi who resigned following a 'sober' disciplinary inquiry

Related tags European union

Xavier Prats Monne is to become the new general director of the European Commission’s health and food safety unit, DG SANTE, a position he takes on after the resignation of Paola Testori Coggi.

Prats Monne will make the move from Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC)​where he has been director general since 2014.

He will take over from acting director Ladislav Miko​ at the beginning of September, the Commission has announced. Miko held the role since last October, after previous chief Testori Coggi stepped down​ following a “sober”​ disciplinary inquiry into a breach of tender policy.

Xavier Prats Monne
Xavier Prats Monne holds three degrees in sociology, development cooperation and European studies

A spokesperson for the Commission told us at the time that she had made an error of judgement when in 2012 she rang an NGO to alert it to the timing of a tender for a food-related study in a room full of her colleagues. A whistle-blower later reported the incident despite the fact that she cancelled the tender when she realised her mistake.

Originally from Spain, Prats Monne holds degrees in sociology from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, development cooperation from the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies in Paris and in European studies from the College of Europe in Bruges where he graduated first of the class and served as assistant professor.

The Commission said the move came as part of a massive “reshuffle”​ of senior management whereby 11 current directors generals moved departments, eight deputies became directors-generals, including two women, as well as several other changes. Further director and deputy posts were expected to be announced soon.

The Commission said its current team still did not include enough women but it had been limited by the amount of women already in senior positions.

DG SANTE’s unit for nutrition, food composition and information also saw some new faces recently when Alexandra Nikolakopoulou was announced as its new head​ following the retirement of Basil Mathioudakis in March. 

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