BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan announced on Oct. 1 the appointment of three special advisors to the European Commission.

Graham Meadows a former director general of DG REGIO (2003-06), has extensive experience having served as an adviser in the Cabinet of the President of the Commission and subsequently as the head of Cabinet of the Commissioner responsible for Environment and Transport. Meadows also served in DG AGRI for a period and has provided consultancy services on a wide range of socio-economic development projects to public administrations and businesses in Europe and beyond, most recently in China and the Ukraine.

Francisco Xavier Miranda de Avillez an emeritus professor of the Institute of Agronomy, University of Lisbon and Scientific Coordinator of AGROGES, Sociedade de Estudos e Projectos. Prof Miranda de Avillez has extensive academic and international consulting experience in agriculture and food research, having worked previously with the Portuguese government, the European Commission and the World Bank.

Michael Treacy is a very experienced agricultural negotiator having served for 25 years as director of the Brussels Office of the Irish Farmers' Association.  As such, he was the IFA's representative on COPA and is a founder member of the World Farmers' Organization. He is a former Irish civil servant and worked in Dublin and Bonn for the Irish Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs.

"I am very pleased, and indeed fortunate, to have secured the services of three such experienced people,” said Hogan. “Their backgrounds, experiences and skills are diverse but complementary, and I am certain that they will have a very useful and constructive role to play in providing advice on a range of issues across the spectrum of agriculture and rural development."

Special advisers to the European Commission are subject to the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities.  The special advisors will receive a daily allowance for each day worked.  These contracts will run from Oct. 1 until March 31, 2016, but they can be renewed.