Paul Varakas is President of the Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP), the recognised organisation of all EU public affairs professionals. Since 2018, Paul defends the rights of EU interest representatives towards EU institutions and encourages the highest standards of professionalism. He is also the Director General of the European Cigar Manufacturers Association (ECMA) since 2019. Before joining ECMA, he worked as an Account Director at Red Flag, a leading pan-European communication, regulatory and government affairs campaigns for global and European clients. He also has experience in the European Hunting Federation and the Council of the European Union. In addition, Paul holds a M.A. in EU Studies from UCL/St Louis University (Brussels). A French national, he speaks English, French and Spanish and is currently learning Finnish.