The Hearing Officers
The post of the Hearing Officer was first established in 1982 in order to enhance impartiality and objectivity in competition proceedings before the Commission. Over the years, the significance of the post has increased leading, inter alia, to enhanced terms of reference in 1994, 2001 and 2011. The Hearing Officers are not part of the Directorate General for Competition. For administrative purposes, they are attached to the Competition Commissioner. In the exercise of their functions, they act independently.
Joos Stragier was appointed as Hearing Officer in October 2013.
He has worked in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition since 1989. He started as a case-handler in antitrust dealing with pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural products. Later he joined the policy directorate dealing with policy coordination and international relations. From 1999 until 2004, he served as deputy head and then as head of the unit dealing with competition in transport sectors. In 2004 he was put in charge of anti-trust enforcement coordination and in 2007 he became head of the newly created strategy and delivery unit. Finally, he has been in charge of DG COMP's resources unit since 2008.
Joos Stragier graduated with a law degree from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1982. He did a post-graduate degree in European law at the College of Europe in Belgium in 1983 and then worked as a lawyer in Kredietbank's legal department for five years.
Wouter Wils was appointed as Hearing Officer in 2010.
He was a Member of the European Commission's Legal Service from 1994 to 2010 and is a former référendaire of Advocate General van Gerven at the European Court of Justice.
Wouter Wils holds degrees in economics and in law from the universities of Louvain, Utrecht and Harvard. He is a Visiting Professor at King's College London, and is the author of a variety of legal and economic publications.
The Hearing Officers' team
- Mr Henry Abbott, Advisor to the Hearing Officers
- Ms Mette Diget, Advisor to the Hearing Officers
- Ms Chiara Galiffa, Advisor to the Hearing Officers
- Ms Francesca Gizzi, Advisor to the Hearing Officers
- Ms Arantzazu Golderos, Advisor to the Hearing Officers
- Ms Freya van Schaik, Advisor to the Hearing Officers
- Ms Maria Paschou, Secretary