Frenchwoman Odile Quintin was named Nov. 9 as the top civil servant in charge of music issues within the European Commission, the European Union's executive.

Frenchwoman Odile Quintin was named Nov. 9 as the top civil servant in charge of music issues within the European Commission, the European Union's executive.

Odile Quintin was named director general in charge of the Commission's directorate general for culture and education, a department that covers most audiovisual issues.

Quintin, who replaces Germany's Nikolaus van der Pas, arrives at a crucial time. In a month from now, the Commission will publish its long-awaited plans on reforming the EU's broadcasting laws -- the so-called Television Without Frontiers directive -- to take account of technological changes. She will work closely with her commissioner, Slovakia's Ján Figel, as well as information society and media commissioner Viviane Reding, from Luxembourg.

Quintin was formerly director general for the Commission's employment and social affairs DG, a department where she served for 23 years. Born in Lyons in 1945, she has a degree in public law and political sciences from Lyons University, and briefly studied English at Cambridge.

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