EU High-Level Advisers

Our Experts
Nijole Mackeviciene
Country: Estonia Lithuania
Field: Employment Law & EU Legislation in Employment related areas
Institution: Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection
Nijole Mackeviciene has been working in the labour market and social policy field for more than twenty five years including thirteen years in the Lithuanian Employment Services and has a vast professional experience in all aspects of the field of EU employment policies, preparation of programming documents for EU structural support and preparation to the accession to the EU. She has a strong European background having been actively involved in exchanging experience with experts from other EC countries within the framework of the EU thematic network projects and being as ESF representative for Lithuania at EU level and Member of the ESF Committee.
Since 2012 she was actively involved as a national expert and project leader in Balkan countries and worked closely with governmental institutions and public employment services.
Nijole Mackeviciene holds a Bachelor in Economics and a Master in History and Social Science.

EU HLA adviser’s assignment in the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family includes policy advice within the Employment Law and EU Legislation in Employment related area. Nijole Mackeviciene also provides active support in development of new active labour market measures to better matching skills and jobs in the labour market and promoting active support and efficient employment services.
Lage Olofsson
Country: Estonia Sweden
Field: Public Finance Management and Macrofinance
Institution: Ministry of Finance
Mr. Olofsson has over 35 years of experience in External Audit and Financial Management and Control in the public sector and in international organisations; in projects covering budget processes, business development, design and development of administrative systems, financial systems and accounting, good governance, training needs analysis, institutional- and capacity building projects, evaluations etc. His experience covers the Baltic States, the Balkans, Russia and other countries. Lage Olofsson was Auditor General in Kosovo (2009 – 2014).
Bogdan Oprea
Country: Estonia Romania
Field: Communication & Visibility of EU Assistance and Reform Impact
Bogdan Oprea has 19 years of experience in high level public communication and journalism and 11 years of teaching communication and media in Romania's top communication school, at the University of Bucharest. He has a Bachelor Degree in Journalism, another Bachelor Degree in Philosophy-Journalism, a Master's Degree in Communication Campaigns for Advertising and Public Relations and several complementary courses of protocol and communication in diplomacy, pedagogy and educational psychology.

Bogdan served as Spokesperson to the President of Romania, Head of the Public Communication Department of the Romanian Presidential Administration and Presidential State Counsellor for almost three years, as Spokesperson of the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism in Romania and he was in charge of the political and image strategy and communication for a Romanian member of the European Parliament.

He worked, as a journalist, from reporter to editorial director, for leading Romanian media, national daily newspapers, specialized magazines, a television station, a news agency and several online newspapers, and he coordinated teams up to 250 journalists. Bogdan was Deputy Editor in Chief of the largest circulation national daily newspaper in history of Romania and he developed and implemented the launching projects of many local daily newspapers and of two specialized magazines.

Bogdan is involved in many volunteer humanitarian activities. Among others, he serves, as a licensed SMURD paramedic (SMURD - Mobile Service for Emergency, Resuscitation and Extrication), in first aid and rescue missions, especially on the 112 ambulances from his hometown community, in Bucharest, Romania.

Aivars Ostapko
Country: Estonia Latvia
Field: Public prosecution
Institution: Prosecutor General’s Office
Aivars Ostapko has 15 years of experience as Prosecutor. In 2005 he started working in the Methodology Division of the Prosecutor’s General Office, and in 2012 was promoted to Head Prosecutor position of this division. Since 2013 Aivars has been Head Prosecutor of the Department of the Prosecutor’s General Office, who simultaneously is also Deputy Prosecutor General in matters of the performance analysis of Prosecution services, staff management and international cooperation. Aivars Ostapko has gained also essential experience on international level while providing advice to the Prosecution Office of Serbia in cooperation with the European Consultants Organization, as well as working in Moldova under auspices of OSCE. In 2015, during the Presidency of Latvia in the Council of the European Union, Aivars was leader of EU working party COPEN in Brussels responsible for developing of regulatory framework on establishing of the European Prosecution Office in the European Union.
Alexandru Sandulescu
Country: Estonia Romania
Field: Energy
Institution: Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure
Mr. Sandulescu obtained his MsC in Energy, at Bucharest Technical University. He also holds a PhD in Energy Markets and studied utility regulation at University of Gainesville Florida and Sherbrooke University Montreal. Before joining the European Union High Level Advisers' Mission to the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Sandulescu was Director General for energy in the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Director General in the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority, researcher and programme director in ICEMENRG, a national energy engineering and research institute.

His current assignment in Ministry of Economy includes policy advice in creating a competitive energy market by transposing EU energy acquis, in increasing energy security of supply by promoting the gas and electricity interconnections with EU networks, in development of a sustainable energy sector by increasing the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency projects.
Zenonas Stanevicius
Country: Estonia Lithuania
Field: Food Safety
Institution: National Food Safety Agency
Zenonas Stanevicius has extensive experience in public health sector management in Lithuania, having held the position of Deputy Director for food affairs at the State Food and Veterinary Service of Lithuania, being involved in the processes of reorganisation food safety system in Lithuania changing the former Soviet standards to European ones.
Zenonas also has extensive international experience which included participation as a member of EC Eurostat Food Safety working group in Luxembourg, member of Advisory Forum of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), EFSA Focal Point to Lithuania, member of Working Group Nordic – Baltic Council and other. He was a chairman of Codex Alimentarius Working Party on Food Hygiene and Joint Working Party of Veterinary Experts (Public health) and Phytosanitary Experts during the Lithuanian Presidency in 2013 for the European Council. Zenonas Stanevicius has been involved as an expert in EU Twinning projects, including Twinning Project on plant origin food safety in Moldova (2012 – 2014).

His current assignment in National Food Safety Agency of Moldova includes policy advice in the field of food safety sector by reviewing relevant strategic policy documents and providing recommendations by finalising the institutional and legislative reform, including clear division of tasks and competences among the different Government stakeholders. EU HLA on food safety is also providing support in preparation new Food Safety Strategy for 2016 - 2020 period, accelerating development and adoption of the Multi-annual National Control Plan, including budgetary forecasting. Furthermore, he is striving to establish of effective communication and interaction with other government institutions and with non-governmental organizations.
Ancuta Vamesu
Country: Estonia Romania
Field: Civil Society Engagement and Accountability
Institution: Prime Minister's Office
Ancuta Vamesu has over 25 years of experience in the civil society sector in Romania for the development of which she has worked in various capacities: designing and leading some of the first programs for civil society development in Romania, doing public policy work, training and research. She has worked for the European Commission Delegation in Romania, for the Romanian Ministry of European Funds, and was a member of GECES European Commission Group of Experts on Social Enterprises, and had short-term missions in Moldova, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro.
Gunta Veismane
Country: Estonia Latvia
Field: Public administration reform
Institution: Prime-Minister’s Office
Gunta Veismane has worked for Public Administration Reform more than 20 years. She was among the founders of the School of Public Administration in Latvia. The work included not only creating the training institution but also drafting new civil service legislation and embracing on a complex process of implementing it. It can be mentioned that Latvia was the first country in Central and Eastern Europe adopting modern civil service law, and Gunta was among those driving this process.
Since 2000, Ms Veismane served for over 10 years as Director of State Chancellery of Latvia. Throughout that period, many external organizations, including EU, WB and IMF, have prized Latvia for its success of public administration reforms. The State Chancellery of Latvia set the basis of a united and motivated corps of State Secretaries, i.e., senior civil servants leading policy making and administration of line ministries. This experience was used as example in several states of Western Balkans and CIS countries including Moldova.

Gunta's main task is provide policy advice to the Prime Minister`s office and PAR Committee on Public Administration Reform. At the same time, she gives recommendations for Prime-Minister and his advisers in cross-cutting priority issues: anti-corruption issues, territorial reform issues, proposals for improving institution of State secretaries, clear career perspectives and motivation for civil servants.
Renata Vitez
Country: Estonia Slovenia
Field: Economy and trade in the context of DCFTA
Institution: Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure
Renata Vitez’ areas of expertise are international trade and investment policies formulation and implementation, competitiveness and private sector development, restructuring of enterprises, SME development, strategic planning and managing implementation action for regions and industries. As State Secretary, she actively participated in the formulation of competitiveness policy of the Republic of Slovenia (2000–2004), where she was personally responsible for trade and investment policy. Mrs. Vitez has 30 years of experience on important positions in the Slovenian government and on managerial positions in the private sector where she implemented advanced industrial organisation concepts. In the period 2008 – 2015, Mrs. Vitez was Director of the CEFTA Secretariat in Brussels.

Her current assignment in Moldova includes establishing the well-functioning of Ministry of Economy coordination and implementation structure for competitiveness related policies; establishing efficient coordination structure for implementation of DCFTA, and related WTO and CEFTA agreements; as well as promoting permanent dialogue and implementation of reached agreements between the Parties involved in the implementation of DCFTA in the left bank of the Nistru river.
Pawel Wojtunik
Country: Estonia Poland
Field: Anti-corruption
Institution: Prime-Minister’s Office
Pawel Wojtunik is the former Head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau in Poland (2009-2015). Previously he held the position of Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation of the National Police Headquarters in Poland, responsible for fighting organised crime and terrorism (2007-2009). In 2007 seconded to New Scotland Yard in London, UK. He joined to the police service in 1992. Pawel graduated from High Police School in Szczytno, Poland, Law Faculty of University in Bialystok, Poland, International Law Enforcement Academy in Roswell, USA.
Svetlana Zhekova
Country: Estonia Bulgaria
Field: Environment
Institution: Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment
Svetlana Zhekova has more than fifteen years of progressive professional experience in environmental policy making and implementation. She has started a civil service career in 1999 as member of the Bulgarian EU accession negotiation team at the Ministry of Environment and Water. Since 2004, for more than a decade Ms. Zhekova has represented her country in the Council Working Party Environment as Counselor on environment and climate change at the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU in Brussels. Consequently, Ms. Zhekova was entrusted with the position of Minister for Environment and Water in the Caretaker Government of Bulgaria, which held the office from August to November 2014. Until March 2016 she was Deputy Director General for the Operational Programme Environment (OPE), where her main responsibilities included managing the processes of preparation for the new programming period and approval of OPE 2014-2020, project assessment and grant aid contracting. Ms. Zhekova’s professional expertise in the environmental field is supported by an academic background in international economic relations, as well as a number of international specialisations and vocational trainings.