Kristalina Georgieva

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Kristalina Georgieva
Kristalina Georgieva (1).jpg
European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 February 2010
President José Manuel Barroso
Preceded by Karel De Gucht (Development and Humanitarian Aid)
Personal details
Born (1953-08-13) 13 August 1953 (age 61)
Sofia, Bulgaria
Political party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria
Alma mater University of National and World Economy

Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva (Bulgarian: Кристалина Иванова Георгиева, born on 13 August 1953 in Sofia, Bulgaria[1]) is a Bulgarian economist and administrator, currently serving as European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response in the second college of the Barroso Commission.[2][3][4] Georgieva is affiliated on the European level with the European People's Party (EPP).

From 1993-2010, she served in a number of positions in the World Bank Group, eventually rising to become its Vice President and Corporate Secretary in March 2008. She has also served as a member of the board of trustees[5] and associated professor in the Economics Department of the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria.[6]

Georgieva was named "European of the Year"[7] and "EU Commissioner of the Year"[8] as an acknowledgment of her work, in particular her handling of the humanitarian disasters in Haiti and Pakistan. Previously, she had been nominated among the candidates for the category "Commissioner of the Year", the prestigious award organized by the European Voice newspaper.

Education[edit]

Kristalina Georgieva holds a PhD in Economics and an MA in Political Economy and Sociology from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her thesis was on “Environmental Protection Policy and Economic Growth in the USA”. She also did post-graduate research and studies in natural resource economics and environmental policy at the London School of Economics in the late 1980s and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[9]

She held a range of academic and consulting positions in Bulgaria and the US, and has lectured on development topics in universities around the world, including the Australian National University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Yale University, Harvard University, London School of Economics, the University of the South Pacific and others.[10]

World Bank[edit]

Kristalina Georgieva started her career at the World Bank in 1993 as an environmental economist for Europe and Central Asia. Following this, she served in various positions in the bank ultimately rising to become Director in the Environment Department in charge of World Bank environmental strategy, policies, and lending. From 2004–2007 she was the institution's Director and Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, based in Moscow.

She returned to Washington DC to become Director for Strategy and Operations, Sustainable Development. Her final position at the World Bank, Vice President and Corporate Secretary, conveyed lead responsibility for liaison with the members of the institution's Board of Executive Directors, representing the Bank's shareholders (the member country governments).[11] In January 2010, she announced her intention to resign from this post in view of her nomination to the Commission of the European Union.[12]

Nomination as European Commissioner[edit]

After the former Bulgarian nominee, Rumiana Jeleva, came under fire during the confirmation hearing from members of the European Parliament over both her competence for the post and allegations of gaps in her declaration of financial interests, she withdrew her bid. The Bulgarian government then proposed Kristalina Georgieva as their new candidate.[2] On 21 January 2010 the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso met with Georgieva and expressed his approval, stating that "Mrs. Georgieva has solid international experience and knowledge with which she is going to contribute significantly in her capacity as a EU Commissioner."[13]

The confirmation hearing of Georgieva took place at the European Parliament on 4 February 2010. She faced questions on her suitability for the international cooperation, humanitarian aid, and crisis response portfolio. Georgieva identified Haiti as a priority, especially the need to provide shelter and health services and to restore the functions and service of the government, so as to start work on reconstruction and long-term development. Other key issues raised in discussions with MEPs had been improving co-ordination within the EU (and within the Commission), and between humanitarian and military players in order to meet the dual challenge posed by expanding needs and shrinking budgets. The need to improve the effectiveness of EU actions and for better response capacity had also been stressed, together with the establishment of European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps.[14]

Georgieva was given a warm response by MEPs, with Labour MEP Michael Cashman praising her "honesty and deep breadth of knowledge". She was applauded by committee members when she told British Conservative MEP Nirj Deva that she would stand up for the interests of the EU and be an independent mind.[15] Ivo Vajgl, a Liberal MEP, also praised her, saying: "let me compliment you on your peaceful manner and the confidence you are exuding today".[16] Her performance at the hearing was widely publicized in Bulgaria and broadcast live on many national media, where it was seen as question of restoration of national honor following Jeleva's unsuccessful hearing.[17]

The second college of the Barroso Commission, including Georgieva, was approved by the European Parliament on 9 February 2010 by a vote of 488 to 137, with 72 abstentions,[3] and she took office the following day.[4]

Work as European Commissioner[edit]

Immediately after taking office, Georgieva took the responsibility for coordinating the European Union response to the humanitarian consequence of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. As result of her actions, the EU became the primary humanitarian donor in the devastated country. Following this initial baptism by fire, Georgieva has ensured EU's response in a number of crises and disasters that struck the world in 2010, including the earthquake in Chile and the floods in Pakistan.

Since taking office as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response, her presence in the field – in Haiti, Chile[18] and Pakistan[19] as a response to the natural disasters that have struck there; Sahel in relation to the ongoing food crisis threat;[20] Darfur as a way to tackle a forgotten conflict;[21] Kyrgyzstan as a reaction to a sudden onset conflict;[22] disasters within the EU such as the Romania floods, Hungary industrial accident at Ajka[23] – along with timely and effective response to these crises, natural and man-made disasters has led to increased EU visibility.

Georgieva has also worked to ensure an EU response where disasters have struck within the Union itself – such as during the floods in Romania[24] and Poland, and the industrial disaster involving red mud sludge in Ajka, Hungary.[25]

She also has worked to ensure that longer term prevention and preparedness strategies are in place. In parallel with reacting to natural and man-made disasters, Georgieva has continued to make good progress on the three declared priorities of her mandate: building up EU’s disaster response capacity, creating the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty, and proceeding with the mid-term review of the European Union Humanitarian Aid Consensus Action plan. This work is expected to pave the way for future legislative proposals.

Georgieva, in discussing the situation in the Gaza Strip, said that she believes that the "humanitarian crisis...was artificially created because of the blockade". However, she also commented that the idea of a Gaza flotilla is not the correct action to take: "We are not in favor of attempts to help people in this way."[26]

Awards[edit]

As recognition of her work and her efficient reaction to the humanitarian crises of the year, Commissioner Georgieva has been nominated and on 20 November was named as Commissioner of the Year in the "Europeans of the Year 2010" awards,[7] organized by the influential European Voice newspaper, which also named her "European of the Year".[8] The winners are chosen on the basis of online voting, which is open until 31 October of each year.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Kristalina Georgieva is married and has one child. She has been living in Washington DC, but is based in Brussels as of 2014. Her hobbies include travelling, guitar playing, dancing and cooking exotic dishes.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who is Kristalina Georgieva?". FOCUS News Agency. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Under-fire EU Commission nominee stands down". AFP. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Miller, John W. (9 February 2010). "EU Approves New Commission". The Wall Street Journal/Associated Press. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Toby Vogel (11 February 2010). "New team takes office". European Voice. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  5. ^ "УНСС : Структура : Съвет на настоятелите" (in Bulgarian). UNWE. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "УНСС : Общоикономически факултет : Катедра Икономикс : Състав" (in Bulgarian). UNWE. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Georgieva named European of the Year, europeanvoice.com, 30 November 2010
  8. ^ a b Bulgaria's Georgieva Wins 'EU Commissioner of the Year' Award by EV, b2bnews.bg, 1 December 2010
  9. ^ Lilov 2013, pp. 276-277.
  10. ^ "The World Bank - News - Kristalina Georgieva". The World Bank Group. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "World Bank appoints Kristalina Georgieva as vice president". AFX News Limited. 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Barroso Welcomes New Bulgarian EU Commissioner-Designate Georgieva". Novinite. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "MEPs quiz new Bulgarian candidate Kristalina Georgieva". European Parliament. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "Democracy Live – European Parliament". BBC. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  16. ^ Joshua Chaffin (4 February 2010). "Bulgaria’s nominee well-received by MEPs". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Коментари за изслушването на Кристалина Георгиева като кандидат-комисар - Портал ЕВРОПА". Europe.bg. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  18. ^ "EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Visit of Commissioner Georgieva to Chile". Europa.eu. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  19. ^ Author: Reuters. "EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva visits flood-hit Pakistan - Bulgaria abroad". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  20. ^ M3 Web - http://m3web.bg (2010-06-03). "Fighting Hunger in Sahel (Article by EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva*) - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". Novinite.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  21. ^ Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Thomson Reuters Foundation | News, Information and Connections for Action". Alertnet.org. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  22. ^ "EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva to meet with Kyrgyz authorities and beneficiaries of EU humanitarian assistance". Europa.eu. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  23. ^ [2][dead link]
  24. ^ "EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Commissioner Georgieva to visit flood hit Romania to express EU solidarity". Europa.eu. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  25. ^ [3][dead link]
  26. ^ "EU official: No restrictions – no Gaza crisis". Ynetnews.com. 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  27. ^ [4][dead link]
  28. ^ Lilov 2013, p. 276.
Bibliography
Lilov, Grigor (2013). Най-богатите българи (1st ed.). Sofia: „Кайлас” ЕООД. ISBN 978-954-92098-9-1. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Meglena Kuneva
Bulgarian European Commissioner
2010–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Karel De Gucht
as European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
2010–present