Thursday 10 December 2009

EU Council Secretary-General Pierre de Boissieu

When the Lisbon Treaty entered into force on 1 December 2009, the European Council and the Council of the European Union immediately took a number of decisions to put the treaty reforms into practice.

There are still a few implementing decisions we have not looked at here at Grahnlaw, among them the appointment of the Secretary-General of the Council,


Article 240(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides for the organisation of the General Secretariat and the appointment of the Secretary-General (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115/154):

Article 240(2) TFEU

2. The Council shall be assisted by a General Secretariat, under the responsibility of a Secretary-General appointed by the Council.

The Council shall decide on the organisation of the General Secretariat by a simple majority.

Formerly, the High Representative was also (formally) the Secretary-General of the Council (Javier Solana), but most of the day to day business of the Council was directed by Deputy Secretary-General.

The Lisbon Treaty created the new “double-hatted” High Representative and Vice-President of the Commission (Catherine Ashton), as well as the separate post of Secretary-General.


The representatives of the EU member states agreed to appoint the Deputy Secretary-General and former French ambassador to the European Union Pierre de BOISSIEU Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union for about one and a half years (from 1 December 2009 until the day after the European Council meeting of June 2011):

Council Decision of 1 December 2009 appointing the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union (2009/911/EU), published OJEU 9.12.2009 L 322/37.

Pierre de Boissieu

For those who prefer more than the powder-dry lines of the official decision, here are a few portraits of a powerful man directing the work of 3,500 employees outside the limelight:

Europolitics, Marc Paoloni: Pierre de Boissieu, a legend in Brussels (23 November 2009)

Le Figaro, Jean-Jacques Mével : Pierre de Boissieu, vigie de l’Europe (30 November 2009)

Swedish presidency of the EU Council: Secretary-General behind the scenes at the EU (undated)

Sur le chemin de la construction européenne, Samuel Faure : Pierre de Boissieu, un homme d’influence (9 December 2009)

Ralf Grahn

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