Prof. Smulders is currently Deputy Director General in DG Competition of the European Commission. Prior to this, he was a Director and Principal Legal Advisor in the European Commission Legal Service, heading the Trade Policy & WTO team. as well as the Institutions & EMU team, and served before as member of its Internal market, State aid control & Anti-dumping and Competition team. Over an aggregate period of 15 years, he gained considerable experience in representing the EU in litigation before the EU General Court, EU Court of Justice, the EFTA Court as well as the WTO, including in a series of post-Lisbon Treaty landmark cases. He served from 2014 until 2019 as Head of Cabinet to the European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans, and from 2004-2008 in the same position to the Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, after having served as a member of the cabinet of several Commissioners as well as of the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi (2000 – 2004). Prior to being employed by the European Commission, Ben Smulders practiced law as a partner in the Amsterdam and Brussels office of the international law firm Nauta Dutilh. He is also a Visiting Professor of Law at various academic institutions across Europe, as well as a member of several scientific councils and boards. He is a substitute judge (Raadsheer plaatsvervanger) in the Court of Appeal of The Hague (civil and commercial chamber), co-edits the Common Market Law Review, and authored numerous publications on a great variety of EU law-related subjects.