Kandel’s resignation is unrelated to the controversy concerning the approval for a plan for Israel’s natural gas industry, which Kandel has led in recent weeks.
Possible candidates to replace him include Prof. Avi Simhon, a contemporary of Kandel, who chaired the committee advising Yuval Steinitz when he was Minister of Finance.
Prof. Kandel today marked six years in office. Two years ago, upon completing a four-year term as Chairman of the NEC, Prof. Kandel acceded to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to continue in office. It is expected that he will conclude his duties soon.
Prof. Kandel is currently involved in formulating the state budget for the coming years, advancing the natural gas outline for the benefit of Israel’s citizens, preparing to implement the socio-economic strategy that was approved at this past Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, and in additional tasks on behalf of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Since its establishment, the NEC – along with other professional government agencies – has advanced, and been a main partner in advancing, a great number of projects and initiatives such as: Developing and instilling the importance of a comprehensive government socio-economic strategy, the law to boost competitiveness and reduce cartelization in the economy, the plan to lower global dependence on petroleum in transportation, developing the natural gas economy in Israel, the two Sheshinski committees, the Tzemach committee, establishing the State of Israel sovereign capital fund, the committee to strengthen the public health system in Israel, tax reforms in the framework of the Trachtenberg committee, comprehensive fiscal development, the outline for recruiting and employing ultra-orthodox men, the committee on evaluating the shortage of trained personal in Israel, steps in the housing market, urban renewal projects, establishing funds for social businesses, creating an innovative model for renewable energy costs, the committee on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the agricultural research and development committee, the committee on financial preparation for earthquakes, the committee on evaluating the structure of the work week in Israel, advancing financial education in the schools, creating the “academia in high school” track for hundreds of pupils, the Capital Investments in Israel Law committee, formulating and developing quality of life indicators in Israel, ramified activity in the research and development sector including the launch of plans in the space, cyber, highways and other sectors.
Prof. Kandel: “I am grateful for the privilege that has been given me to serve the public and stand alongside the Prime Minister in guiding the Israeli economy over the past six years. This was a long an interesting period in which we acted along with ministers from various government ministries. I thank the Prime Minister for electing me for one of the more complicated positions at his side, for the full confidence, for the freedom of professional action and the backing given to the NEC and to myself on the main issues that we advanced for the benefit of the Israeli economy.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, upon Prof. Kandel’s retirement announcement: “I thank Eugene for his significant contribution to the Israeli economy. Eugene and the NEC successfully advanced the core issues of the Israeli economy while taking an innovative and strategic view that was connected to reality. Under my three governments, Eugene has been active on a wide variety of issues while focusing on the economic future of Israel and the welfare of Israel’s citizens. The citizens of Israel will enjoy the fruits of his labors even after he leaves office.”