The European Commission's Research Directorate-General has a new head, following the appointment of Mr Achilleas Mitsos as Director General on 13 June. He has 15 years experience of working in the Commission and since 1996 has been Director in charge of the Research DG's programmes for 'Improving human potential and the socio-economic knowledge base ' and for 'training and mobility of researchers'. Research Commissioner, Philippe Busquin, whose proposal of Mr Mitsos was supported by the President of the Commission, Mr Prodi, as well as Mr Kinnock, vice president in charge of administrative reform, underlined the importance the task before Mr Mitsos. 'The contribution of European research policy to achieve the social and economic objectives of the European Union was set out in the conclusions of the Lisbon summit which took place on 23 and 24 March 2000. This contribution is to be realised in the framework of the European Research Area, the objectives to which were endorsed in Lisbon. Essentially Mr Mitsos's task will be to make sure that the Directorate-General is organised in such a way that it serves efficiently these objectives. I am convinced that Mr Mitsos has the professional and human qualities to accomplish this mission.' Achilleas Mitsos, born in 1947, is an economist by training. He holds degrees from Athens and Pittsburgh universities as well as a professorship at the University of Athens. Between 1985 and 1988 Mr Mitsos headed the private office of the then Commissioner for Regional Policy and Consumer Affairs followed by a directorship (1988 to 1993) in Directorate-General Managing Structural Funds where he was in charge of structural funds reform. He continued his career as a director for vocational training in the Directorate-General 'education training and youth' until 1996. Mr Mitsos takes over from Mr Tent, deputy director of the Research DG, and acting Director since his predecessor Professor Jorma Routti, stood down from the post in March this year.