Corporate DispatchPro

The calm during the storm


The French politician was announced the EU’S Chief Negotiator on Brexit in July 2016 and, since then, he has been the face of the complex dialogue with the UK on behalf of the other members of the European Union.

Growing up in the French Alps in the 1950s and 1960s, Barnier enrolled in the boy scouts and the local choir, surely helpful experience­s for the future task of congregati­ng 27 government­s into one voice and leading them through a winding and adventurou­s journey.

A graduate of the École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, Barnier held various posts in government ministries before embarking on an accomplish­ed political career, starting with his election to the French National Assembly in 1978, aged 27. The rising star joined Édouard Balladur’s Cabinet as Environmen­t Minister in 1993 before Jacques Chirac appointed him secretary of state for European affairs two years later.

Barnier served as the European Commission­er for Regional Policy in the Prodi Commission at the turn of the millennium. In the next few years, he oscillated between national politics as French minister and the European stage, first as vice president of the European People’s Party, then as special adviser to EU Commission President Manuel Barroso.

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