Audland, Christopher

07 July 1926 (Wiesbaden [Germany])
Parallel forms of name

Audland, Sir Christopher J.

Historical Notes

Christopher Audland on leaving Winchester College joined the British Army (1944-1948), thus following his father's footsteps, serving in both the Middle East and Greece. However, his ambition was to join the Diplomatic Service, a career which he entered in 1948. His initial posting was in the Commonwealth Liaison Department. In September 1949 he was seconded to the staff of the Political Division of the then Control Commission for Germany (British Element) (CCG (BE)) at Berlin. The CCG (BE) soon moved to Bonn, where he was Britain's chief negotiator of one of the Bonn Conventions, which in 1954 were to give independence to West Germany. In 1952, he was appointed Deputy Head of the UK Representation to the Council of Europe, a post in which he became personally familiar with most of the Founding Fathers of the European Economic Community (EEC).
In 1955, he was appointed Second Secretary in the British Embassy in Washington, a position he held until 1958. He returned to Britain to the Department of Foreign Affairs in London and from 1961 - 1963 he was a key member of Edward Heath's team, whose efforts to negotiate rapid British entry to the EEC were frustrated by Charles De Gaulle's veto. The ensuing years were spent on various diplomatic assignments in Argentina and the Commonwealth Office. From 1968 to 1970 he gained experience of running a government department when he became head of the Science and Technology Department at the Foreign Office. In 1970 he was appointed Deputy to the Head of the British Delegation which negotiated the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin (1971).
When Britain finally entered the EEC in 1973, he became a top-ranking Official of the European Commission for thirteen years. From 1973 to 1981 he was Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission. From 1981 to 1986, he was Director-General of the European Commission Directorate-General for Energy (DG XVII). After the Chernobyl disaster on 26 April 1986, he was additionally charged by the Commission with the task of co-ordination of the work of all the Commission's Directorates-General involved in proposing and executing the EEC’s response to the disaster.
Christopher Audland retired from the Commission in 1986, was knighted in 1987, and has since pursued other challenges.

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