Sabine Zwaenepoel

Team Leader at Centre of Thematic Expertise on Crisis, and Security - Senior Expert at European Commission

Sabine Zwaenepoel (Ghent, Belgium 1968) is a Senior Expert in the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) in the European Commission. She earned a Master’s degree in Political Science at the Ghent University (1990) and a Master’s degree in International Relations at the Antwerp University (1992). She also obtained a MA in Eastern European Studies (1991). Having been an Erasmus student at the Université Robert Schuman in Strasbourg, she was a trainee (1992) and subsequently worked in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg (1993). Between 1994 and 1997 she joined the European Parliament in Brussels as a parliamentary assistant. In 1997 she started working in the European Commission. After 4 years working on enlargement, she joined DG HOME Affairs, where she worked for a decade, including as Deputy Head of Unit in the unit dealing with the Fight against organised crime and corruption. During 2 years she was member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Kuneva responsible for Consumer Affairs. At the end of 2012 she joined the current DG NEAR to roll out the new approach in the accession negotiations in Chapters 23 – Judiciary and fundamental rights (including anti-corruption) and 24 (Justice, freedom and security). She has been coordinating the work of the Centre of Thematic Expertise on Rule of Law, Fundamental Rights and Democracy from 2015 till the beginning of 2020 and since March 2020 she coordinates a team working on Security and Peace in DG NEAR