EU High-Level Advisers

Our Experts
Olev Aarma
Country: Estonia Estonia
Field: EU – RM Association Agreement
Institution: Parliament
Olev Aarma has worked in Estonian Parliament for 19 years dealing with EU affairs before and after the accession. Main areas of responsibility and expertise included organization of EU-related activities of the Parliament as well as decision-making process on EU matters between the Parliament and the Government. As an expert on parliamentary involvement in European affairs, Olev has been on short term missions in Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and on broader parliamentary oversight issues in Moldova and Libya. Olev has been a member of election observation missions in Azerbaidjan, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia.

The main aim of his position here is to advise the Parliament how countries have tackled EU integration in the past and to find best possible solutions to Moldova. His main function is to liaise between the Parliament and its units and EU Delegation and other HLAs. He also provides advice and know how other Parliaments have arranged their approach to approximation.
Country: Estonia Bulgaria
Field: Rural Development and Agriculture
Institution: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Snezhana Blagoeva has extensive experience in the field of Agricultural and Rural Development policy, working both at expert and decision-making levels. She has been directly involved in the EU accession negotiations of Bulgaria, harmonisation of the Bulgarian legislation with acquis communautaire in the field of agriculture and setting up of the necessary institutional framework for the successful implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). She has the experience of successful implementation of the EU CAP at national level, the improvement of the institutional structure and capacity and adaptation of the policy to the agricultural sector`s needs and requirements. During the negotiations for the CAP 2014-2020 she has been in charge of the negotiation team and for the preparation of the relevant national strategic documents and analyses. In 2013 as part of the Bulgarian caretaker government Mrs.Blagoeva was Deputy-minister responsible for CAP implementation, Rural Development and land management. She has master degrees in Agricultural Economics, Law and EU law.

Ms. Blagoeva’s current assignment in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry is to provide policy recommendations and guidance on the implementation of the EU-Moldova Association agreement in the area of Agriculture and Rural development. She will support MAFI in elaboration and implementation of Agricultural and Rural development policy in line with EU policies and best practices through setting up the necessary institutional and legal framework.
Josef Buzalka
Country: Estonia Czech Republic
Field: Confidence Building Measures
Institution: Bureau for Reintegration
Josef Buzalka is a career diplomat with the rank of Ambassador with extended practice in International Organizations and Missions, specializing on frozen conflicts in the post-Soviet space, conflict resolution and mediation, advising on reintegration policy, recommendations and mediation related issues. Mr Buzalka previously worked as political adviser to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, adviser to the EU Special Representative for Central Asia and most recently as an adviser to the EU Special Representative to the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia.
Bernard Chantemesse
Country: Estonia France
Field: Transport
Institution: Ministry of Transport and Road Infrastructure
Railway Engineer with more than 40 years of experience in transport sector and, most particularly, in railways projects thanks to his works at the SNCF (French national railway company), as Senior Executive, and at several railway regulatory authorities, Bernard Chantemesse gained a deep experience of the EU enlargement process and capacity building of transport institutions.
For more than 14 years, first in the Baltic States then in the Balkans, he was involved in numerous Pre-Accession Assistance projects as well as international financial institutions projects related to the transposition of EC Directives, harmonisation of legal framework, restructuring of transport sector and modernisation of railway and road infrastructure.
He was Project Leader / Resident Twinning Adviser in projects in Lithuania, Serbia, Montenegro, Tunisia, Egypt.
More recently, he was Adviser to the Ministry of European Integration of the Republic of Kosovo and Adviser to the European Integration Office of the Republic of Serbia.

Eugen Corciu
Country: Estonia Romania
Field: Internal Affairs
Institution: Ministry of Internal Affairs
Eugen Corciu is an experienced police officer. He holds a PhD in International and European Security Studies from Romanian National Defense Academy and is a graduate of Law Faculty.
With over 25 years of experience at the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs, his managerial positions cover the full range of Internal Affairs issues. Eugen Corciu has over 10 years high-level and practical experience as a senior expert on implementing international and EU projects related to strengthening the capacities of law enforcement agencies, justice reform and anticorruption in Romania, Moldova and Azerbaijan.

His current assignment in Ministry of Internal Affairs includes strategic policy advice in line with EU policies and best practices in finalising the demilitarisation and decentralisation process of the Ministry and for preventing and combating corruption. EU HLA in the field of internal affairs is also providing support for revising and implementing the new strategic framework of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and is also offering specific guidance for strengthening the coordination and communication between MIA and other line ministries and agencies.
Rosario De Blasio
Country: Estonia Italy
Field: Customs
Institution: Customs Service
Rosario de Blasio has been working for the last 10 years at the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, advising both countries in the development of their customs and border policies, regulatory and institutional reform in approximation and alignment with EU and Association Agreements/DCFTA requirements. He has more than twenty years of experience working for the Customs Agency in Italy.
Working for the EU Border Assistance Mission, Rosario has had extensive experience improving Moldova-Ukraine cross-border cooperation in line with EU best practices, especially through implementation of modern cooperation tools, such as joint control, and exchange of pre-arrival information on goods and people.

Rosario’s current assignment in the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova includes policy advice in the implementation of the EU-Moldova AA/DCFTA through simplified procedures and effective measures to fight against smuggling with a view to ensuring revenue collection, safety and security at the customs borders of the country. The EU High-Level Adviser is also providing support in the structural reform of the Customs Service, including incentive schemes for staff, with the aim of improving its institutional capacities and reducing corruption.
Matija Derk
Country: Estonia Croatia
Field: Regional Development
Institution: Ministry of Regional Development and Construction
Matija Derk holds Masters Degree in International Relations from Dublin City University and is actively working with development related issues on regional, national and international level for almost 14 years. Matija was involved in all stages of Croatian EU accession process starting his work in Ministry of European Integration in 2002. Leaving the Ministry Matija assumed role of director of regional development agency for following 7 years after which he was appointed Assistant Minister at Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds as Head of Directorate for Strategic Planning. Matija was involved in preparing a number of strategies including Regional Development Strategy, Investment Promotion Plan and Rural Development Strategy, National Innovation Strategy and Smart Specialization Strategy. He was also directly responsible for delivery of strategic documents for EU funds (Partnership Agreement and all Operational Programmes), aid coordination and coordination of Croatian participation in European Semester.
Daniel Funeriu
Country: Estonia Romania
Field: Education
Institution: Ministry of Education
Dr. Daniel P. Funeriu is a researcher by training. In 1999 he received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Strasbourg, under the guidance of Nobel Laureate J.-M. Lehn. After holding research positions at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Amagasaki, Japan, he joined the Technical University Munchen in 2006 on a Marie Currie Excellence Grant. In 2009 he became Member of the European Parliament and later that year Minister for Education, Research, Youth and Sports of the Romanian Government. In that capacity, he promoted a comprehensive modernisation of the Romanian education landscape, by adopting a new education law, new research legislation, strong anti-corruption measures as well as transparency, fight against plagiarism and performance-based allocation of research funds. In 2012 he became senior advisor to the Romanian president, with ministerial rank, until 2014. Before joining the team of High-Level Advisers to the Moldova Government he was pursuing research in the Institut Charles Sadron, France.
Aldona Jociene
Country: Estonia Lithuania
Field: Banking Sector
Institution: National Bank
Dr. Aldona Jociene is an experienced banking supervision executive. She worked in the area of banking supervison at the Central Bank of Lithuania for 20 years. Since 2012, Aldona was the Director of Prudential Supervision Department and carried out the supervisory reform. Aldona actively participated in the creation processes of the European Banking Union (working groups in the European Council, European Central Bank) and Lithuania’s joining the Single Supervisory Mechanism. Aldona also has international experience in representing the Central Bank of Lithuania at European institutions.
Aldona has PhD in Social Sciences (economics). She actively participated in academic activities – was a lecturer at Vilnius University on International Banking, Bank Management and Financial Markets, published many scientific articles on bank business models, bank capital adequacy and global financial crisis.

She provides policy advice to National Bank of Moldova on banking supervision reform with the main goal of creating a modern and efficient supervisory framework in line with EU standards (Basel III). EU HLA on Banking is also providing support in the strengthening of NBM communication capabilities for better informing society about banking sector and cooperation with other institutions with the aim of efficient fight against economic crimes.
Inguss Kalnins
Country: Estonia Latvia
Field: Justice
Institution: Ministry of Justice
Since 2012, Inguss has been Deputy State Secretary on Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Justice of Latvia. Performing high level policy and strategic advising to the Minister of Justice and to the Cabinet of Ministers with more than 10 years of experience in public administration, EU law and justice policy. Inguss has proven experience in advising and supervising an effective and timely implementation of acquis at the Governmental level as well as developing, monitoring and implementing different justice strategies. He successfully planned and organized Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU for the Ministry of Justice in 2015. He has been effectively supervising multi-million euro worth projects at the Ministry of Justice and representing the Government before the European Court of Justice since 2011.

His current assignment at Ministry of Justice is to provide policy advice on the transparency, independence and effectiveness justice system. He is working towards reformed and effective integrity system in the judiciary to contribute towards the reforms that would accelerate public trust in judges and their decisions. Independence is a fundamental right that goes hand in hand with responsibility. Inguss is working to ensure that the combination of these principles is applied in judiciary.
Igoris Krzeckovskis
Country: Estonia Lithuania
Field: Anti-money laundering
Institution: National Anticorruption Centre
Igoris worked in the Ministry of Interiors of Lithuania for over 20 years in senior management positions and was responsible for the development of Anti-Money Laundering national policy. He was a member of the Lithuanian delegation in the Money Laundering And Terrorist Financing Prevention Experts Committee MONEYVAL of the Council of Europe and observer in the Eurasian group on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG). He was a Chairman of the Working group Anti Fraud (GAF) of the Council of European Union (2013). As the Senior Financial Investigator Igoris was leading joint investigations with Germany, US, UK, Italy, Russia and Ukraine law enforcement authorities, European Anti Fraud Service (OLAF) and Europol. Igoris was a expert in the technical assistance projects and seminars on combating of financial crimes in Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Romania, Macedonia, Zambia.

After his retirement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Igoris worked as an Anti-Money Laundering consultant for the United Nations Office in Drugs and Crimes and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

His current assignment in Moldova includes: improvement of the protection of the state financial system from criminal influence; improvement of the implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing measures by state and private institutions of Moldova; support to the implementation of National Strategy on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing; support to the implementation of the requirements of the European Union in the field of Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.
Nijole Mackeviciene
Country: Estonia Lithuania
Field: Employment
Institution: Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family
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.