Professor Philip McCann from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences in the University of Groningen has been appointed as a Special Adviser to Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy. Philip McCann will work alongside the other Special Adviser Fabrizio Barca, Director General of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. Both Special Advisers will provide expert counsel to Commissioner Hahn on matters relating to the reform and future development of European Cohesion Policy. The period of appointment is from 1st April 2010 until 31 March 2011.
Philip McCann holds the University of Groningen Endowed Chair of Economic Geography in the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. He arrived in Groningen in August 2009 to take up one of the new Endowed Chairs, as part of the University’s programme of increasing its international research profile. This is the first time that a serving faculty member of the University of Groningen has been appointed to such a role.
Professor Sibrand Poppema, Chairman of the Board of the University of Groningen, and Professor Piet Pellenbarg, Dean of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, expressed their delight at the news of Professor McCann’s appointment. Poppema remarked “This appointment comes at an important time for Europe as much re-thinking is currently taking place regarding the role of EU regional policies. We need to respond to the social and environmental challenges associated with globalisation, demographic change, healthy ageing, and innovation. Here in the Northern Netherlands we are very aware of the critical role which European Cohesion Policy plays in promoting wellbeing and we are honoured that a member of the University of Groningen has been appointed to such a role at this time”.
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