Former Economics Senator Ramona Pop will be the new head of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers (vzbv). The Greens politician takes office as the top consumer advocate on July 1st. “I am very much looking forward to representing the interests and rights of consumers,” said the 44-year-old on Monday. “Especially in times of crisis, strong consumer protection is of great importance and gives people security”. After Klaus Müller and Gerd Billen, Pop will be the third member of the Greens to lead the association.
The replacement at the head of the consumer association, which includes numerous other consumer policy organizations in addition to the 16 state consumer centers, became necessary because the long-time CEO Klaus Müller moved to the head of the Federal Network Agency on March 1st. Since then, Jutta Gurkmann has been managing the vzbv on an interim basis, but she wants to concentrate on managing the consumer policy department at the vzbv and had not applied for the position on the board.
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“We are very pleased that we were able to win Ramona Pop for vzbv,” said the chairman of the vzbv board of directors, Wolfgang Schuldzinski. “As an experienced politician and manager, she will give consumer protection in Germany a strong voice,” emphasized the head of the Consumer center NRW Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir also welcomed the personnel: “As a long-standing manager, Ramona Pop is a real asset for the consumer center with her proven expertise in the areas of finance, economics and energy policy, her excellent networking and her great commitment,” explained Pops Party friend on Monday.
From 2016 to 2021, Pop was Economics Senator and Mayor of Berlin. The politician sat for the Greens in the Berlin House of Representatives for 20 years and had also led the parliamentary group in the meantime. With her move to the position of Senator for Economic Affairs, the politician, who was born in Timisoara, Romania, increasingly lost the support of the party establishment and the grassroots. The struggle with internal competitor Antje Kapek for the top candidate for the 2021 elections ended in a stalemate and the nomination of Bettina Jarasch, who is now Senator for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection.
“I warmly congratulate Ramona Pop on her new task,” said Silke Gebel, the acting leader of the parliamentary group in the House of Representatives. Pop will be “a strong consumer protection advocate because she has many years of experience in a wide range of political contexts. I have to say it was a very good choice.” Congratulations also came from former political competitors. Christian Gräff, economics expert for the CDU parliamentary group, pointed out that as a member of the government in the Senate, Pop was also involved with many issues that she is now dealing with from a different point of view. “I think she can best answer for herself whether the time-out between the two tasks is sufficient, legally everything is correct,” said Gräff.
Pop had actively applied to succeed Müller. Her performance, it was said, was convincing. Although both the Federal Ministry of Consumer Affairs led by Steffi Lemke and the Ministry of Agriculture with Cem Özdemir are green, party politics are said to have played no role in the association’s personnel, the daily mirror learned from several sources.