In September 2015, Katarína Mathernová assumed her function as Deputy Director General of DG NEAR, the Directorate General for Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations. She has previously served as Deputy Director General in DG Regional Policy where she was in charge of Cohesion Policy Coordination between 2007-2010. She is Professor of Practice at Vesalius College in Brussels and has been a guest lecturer at Universities in Europe and the US.
Ms Mathernová has held senior management and advisory posts at the World Bank (2002- 2004 and 2010-2014), and in the reform government in Slovakia (1998-2002) where she was Chief Institutional and Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, key architect of the Slovak economy's transformation.
K. Mathernová holds a Juris Doctor degree from Comenius University in Bratislava, a Masters of Law degree from the University of Michigan, is a member of the New York Bar, and speaks six languages. She started her career in private practice of law in the US, with distinguished New York and Washington DC Law Firms. Her distinctions include the award Slovak Woman of the Year in 2000 from the Slovak Spectator newspaper. She is a member of several Boards and the author of a number of academic and democratic transition in the post-Communist countries.
Opening the EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia while many European countries remained in lockdown exhibited positive messaging on two fronts: it appeased the effected countries and demonstrated to the world that the EU did not pause completely, even during unprecedented times of adversity. The crisis underlined the region’s vulnerability to influence from other global powers and exposed the fragility of regional political systems. For Ukraine, which has been resisting military aggression from the Russian Federation (including the occupation of Crimea) while simultaneously enduring difficult a domestic transformation, the threat of the novel coronavirus has proven extremely challenging. Could this crisis be used by the Ukrainian national government to regain citizens’ trust, or will it further deepen political polarization? How can the EU contribute to strengthening the region’s resilience, and what regional measures are necessary in order to meet the EU halfway?