GIGAEurope Governance

GIGAEurope brings together private operators who build, operate and invest in the gigabit communications networks that enable Europe’s digital connectivity.


The Board is the managing body of the association and it consists of 8 members, including the Chair, elected by the General Assembly.

The Board’s responsibilities include preparing the association’s strategy and main priorities, setting up permanent and/or ad-hoc committees, examining membership matters and analyzing strategic partnerships. The Board also prepares the annual activity report, the financial accounts and the budget and presents them to the General Assembly.


Manuel Kohnstamm

Liberty Global

Manuel Kohnstamm is Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Liberty Global, a position he has held since March 2012. In his current position, Manuel is an executive officer of Liberty Global and sits on the Company’s Executive Management Committee.

Based in Amsterdam and Brussels, he is responsible for regulatory strategy, public policy and government affairs throughout the Liberty Global group. Manuel joined United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC), which later merged into Liberty Global Europe, in September 1999.

Manuel graduated in Political Science and holds a Doctorandus Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam. He also holds a Postgraduate Degree in International relations from the Clingendael Diplomat School in The Hague, and successfully completed the Cable Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School, Boston (MA).

Board members

Eke Vermeer

Liberty Global

Reinald Kruger

Vodafone Group

Darren Ennis

Vodafone Group

Michael Jungwirth

Vodafone Germany

Barbara de Ridder-Jongerden


Thomas Roukens


general assembly

The General Assembly is the association’s highest decision-making body and it comprises all our full members.

The General Assembly’s responsibilities include deciding on the association’s strategy and main priorities, approving changes in the association’s membership, deciding on the association’s annual plan, approving the annual activity report, the financial accounts and the budget.

committees and working groups

Regulatory Committee

In the Regulatory Committee, members discuss and decide upon GIGAEurope’s regulatory and public policy strategy and priorities, and on any other relevant matter concerning regulatory affairs. The Committee is formed of representatives appointed by each member of the association.

Communications Committee

In the Communications Committee, members discuss and decide upon GIGAEurope’s communications and public relations strategy and priorities, and any other relevant matter concerning public relations affairs. The Committee is formed of representatives appointed by each member of the association.

Working Groups

Working Groups are created to cover various policy matters. They focus on specific dossiers/campaigns/industry topics and they work on contributions/position papers that are presented to the relevant stakeholders. A Working Group is formed of representatives from our members who express an interest in joining and contributing to that group’s specific policy matter and it is dissolved once its assigned tasks have been accomplished.


The GIGAEurope team is responsible for the day-to-day work of the association within the framework of its annual mandate. The association is managed by a Managing Director and supported by a small, but very motivated and effective team.

Our team’s main purpose is to develop and implement the public policy & communications strategy of the association, in order to strengthen the voice of the connectivity industry. The team coordinates all activities of the association and deals with financial and human resources matters.

Irina Varlan

Managing Director

Irina Varlan, the Managing Director of GIGAEurope, is an experienced corporate executive who has worked in multinational companies for more than 20 years.

Prior to joining GIGAEurope, she was General Counsel, Public Policy and Regulatory Director of UPC Romania, Liberty Global. Before she joined Liberty Global in 2012, Irina held a number of senior management positions in leading international telecommunications companies, including DTH Television, Telekom Romania and the American company Metromedia International.

A graduate of the Bucharest Faculty of Law, Irina is also a legal practitioner, an attorney-at-law member of the Bucharest Bar, having worked in the private legal practice at the associated law firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Romania.