Vania was born in Montana a small town on the river Ogosta in Bulgaria, in 1962. She has been in Brussels for more than 13 years and today works in Directorate-General for Energy and Transport where she looks after working groups for the European Energy and Transport Forum. The Forum is a consultative body which makes sure that the Commission listens to the views of experts and the public when it makes policy proposals about energy and transport issues.
One of Vania's passions is involving the "outside" world in EU discussions, breaking down barriers and using her fluency in 7 languages to help people from different countries to understand each other and work together. "We have to make sure that subjects like energy efficiency and transport infrastructure are discussed with experts from industries, operators, customers from all over the EU so that the Commission has a good idea of the broad range of opinions and different situations in Member States. By involving specialists early-on in our policy debates, we gauge how EU citizens feel about these topics and make sure that our policies are more likely to be accepted by the public"
After completing her PhD in economics at Moscow State University, Vania continued her post-graduate studies in London, Berlin, Salzburg, Kiel and Paris. Her first contact with the Commission was as a PhD student when she received EU funding to look at the lessons that Bulgaria could learn from the EU's experiences in human resources and high-tech products. She first came to Brussels as a trainee in 1994 and helped to build links with non-EU countries at DG Research. In 1996 she became the first Bulgarian to work in the European Parliament where she was an advisor to MEPs on Enlargement and Environment issues. She returned to the Commission's Energy and Transport DG in 2003.
Vania particularly values the mixture of different nationalities that she finds in her colleagues at the Commission, especially the chances to discover new perspectives and different ways of looking at things. "Victor Hugo said, Europe is about humanity" she said "It's also about integration and different types of people connecting with eachother"