Shake-up tipped for DGX

Directorate-General X, the European Commission’s information and communications wing, could be heading for a major shake-up, following the arrival of Spyros Pappas as its new director this week.

Directorate-General X, the European Commission’s information and

communications wing, could be heading for a major shake-up, following

the arrival of Spyros Pappas as its new director this week.



Pappas, a Greek lawyer, succeeds Colette Flesch who becomes

director-general of the commission’s translation service in Luxembourg.

Pappas previously headed the commission’s consumer policy section

DGXXIV. Before that he was a professor of European law at the European

Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht.



Reporting directly to Spanish commissioner Marcelino Oreja, Pappas will

administer commission policy for culture and audiovisual media as well

as information and communications. DGX projects include formulating

legislation on cross-border television and organising representation at

the Expo 2000 exhibition in Hanover.



DGX also has an important imput on large scale communications campaigns,

including the single currency.



Plans to revamp DGX’s responsibilities have been on the cards for some

time. Last year proposals were aired to remove the commission’s

spokesman’s service from under the wing of president Jacques Santer to

DGX while farming out audiovisual policy to other DGs.



Although Oreja has rejected the idea of DGX giving up any of its

functions, he has given his backing to the creation of a public

information centre which would co-operate with national bureaux.



A radical overhaul of DGX’s role and the establishment of an information

unit will, however, need the prior approval of member states. Given the

UK government’s sensitivity to European policy issues, that is unlikely

to happen until after the general election.



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