Tuesday April 2, 2013 : NEW SECRETARY GENERAL FOR ONLINE GAMBLING TRADE ASSOCIATION
Sigrid Ligné departs EGBA and is replaced by Maarten Haijer
Sigrid Ligne, the hard working secretary general of the trade body European Gaming and Betting Association for the past 6 years, is moving on and has been replaced by Maarten Haijer, the former director of regulatory affairs for the organisation, which represents most of Europe's major online gambling companies
Discussing her resignation Tuesday, Ligné said: "I have had the privilege to lead the EGBA at a time of significant progress in the EU debate on online gambling. I am pleased to note that the EU institutions and other stakeholders are now engaged in a constructive exchange on how smart regulatory design can achieve our common goals.
"By appointing Maarten Haijer to take up the baton in the continuing efforts to persuade policymakers of the merits of market-based solutions, the EGBA can be sure that its cause is in excellent hands".
EGBA chairman Norbert Teufelberger said: "On behalf of EGBA's member companies I would like to thank Sigrid sincerely for spearheading EGBA's considerable achievements at a crucial time for European online gaming operators and for the development of the industry as a whole.
"We are sorry to see Sigrid go but wish her all success in her new challenges. We warmly welcome Maarten Haijer as our new secretary general. With his experience and vision we are confident that he will drive forward our efforts for safe and fair operating conditions in Europe."
Maarten Haijer said: "It was a pleasure to work with Sigrid for many years and I wish her all the best. I am honoured by the appointment as secretary general of EGBA and the confidence EGBA members have shown in me. I am fully aware of the challenging job ahead of us in creating a uniformly safe environment for the playing public, and in obtaining equitable treatment for EU-based operators.
"EGBA is firmly committed to work together with the EU institutions and Member States to achieve both of these goals. Where discriminatory national rules persist, we rely on the Commission as guardian of the treaties to keep its word and refer Member States to the Court of Justice of the EU."
Dutch national Haijer previously worked as the internal market and consumer protection counsellor at the Netherlands Permanent Representation to the EU, where he negotiated several proposals for EU harmonisation. Prior to that, he dealt with EU and WTO trade issues at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.