PSP Peter Sutherland's Commission Papers

Documents from [1984] to [1988]

Identity Statement

Reference Code
Extent and Medium

22,7 linear meters; 220 boxes; 476 dossiers

Fonds Inventory
Reference Archivists

Carr, Mary


Administrative and Biographical History

The first Delors Commission was formed in December 1984. Of the twelve members of the new Commission, only three belonged to the outgoing body and these in the main moved to new areas of responsibility. The President Jacques Delors, former Minister for Finance in the Government of the French Republic, in addition to his responsibilities as President, he also looked after – amongst others – Monetary Affairs, the Legal Service and the Spokesman’s Group. The outgoing Commissioner for Competition, Mr. Frans Andrissen from the Netherlands, remained in the Commission with responsibility for Agriculture and Fisheries, while Sutherland took up his competition portfolio. The Italian Commissioner, Lorenzo Natali also remained and took charge of co-operation with developing countries, as well as continuing his responsibility for entry negotiations with Spain and Portugal. The third Commissioner remaining for a second term was Karl-Heinz Narjes from the Federal Republic of Germany. His new responsibilities included Industry, Information Technology, Science and Research. The new Commissioners included one who had previously been a Member of the Commission – though not of those who left the office. He was Claude Cheysson, the second French Commissioner, formerly Foreign Minister of the French Republic and a former Commissioner for Development. Under Delors he was appointed to the portfolio responsible for Mediterranean Affairs and the North-South Dialogue. The second German Commissioner, Alois Pfeiffer, a trade unionist took responsibility for Economic Affairs and Employment, as well as the Statistical Office. Commissioner Grigoris Varfis of Greece, a former Foreign Minister, took charge of the Community’s Regional Policy as well as relations with the European Parliament. Of the two British Commissioners, Lord Cockfield, from a business background, took charge of the Internal Market, Financial and Fiscal Affairs and the Customs Union. Mr. Stanley Clinton Davis, a former Labour Minister was appointed Commissioner for the Environment, Consumer Protection, Forestry and Transport. The second Italian Commissioner, Carlo Ripa de Meana, a former MEP took responsibility for the Citizens’ Europe Programme, Information Policy, Tourism and Culture. The Belgian Commissioner was Mr. Willy de Clercq, a former Minister for Finance. He was put at the helm of External Relations and its Commercial Policy. Commissioner Nic Mosar of Luxembourg was placed in charge of Energy, Euratom and the Community’s Publications Office. Finally, the Danish Commissioner, Mr. Henning Christopherson, was given responsibility for Budget and Financial Control, as well as Personnel and Administration. He was a former Danish Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Custodial History

Peter Sutherland initially deposited his papers concerning his time in the European Commission in the Archives of University College Dublin in the early 1990's. An arrangement was reached with the Head archivist in the UCD Archives, Seamus Helferty whereby the HAEU, considering its mandate to preserve the "memory" of the European Union, offered to organise the transfer of the documents to Florence to be catalogued and made available to the research community and the wider public. A contract of deposit was signed between the Director of the Archives, Dieter Schlenker and Peter Sutherland and 32 boxes containing Sutherland’s commissionership papers arrived in Florence in 2014.

Content and Structure


Peter Sutherland's papers concern his four year term as Commissioner for Competition, Social Affairs (with responsibility for the European Social Fund), Education and Training. There was a reshuffle in the Cabinet of Delors at the end of 1985 and Sutherland requested responsibility for Directorate C in its entirety, "Education, Vocational Training and Youth". Instead he was given responsibility for Relations with the European Parliament. However, Mr Sutherland's main responsibility was Competition and this portfolio was considered one of the most significant of the Commission posts. The Competition Rules of the Community were set out in several Articles of the Treaty of Rome. Their objective was to ensure that both Governments and commercial enterprises observed fair trading practices insofar as trade between member States is concerned. They were designed to ensure that consumers throughout the Community were not adversely affected by monopolies, cartels, inter-company agreements or arrangements, national Government subsidies or other discriminatory practices. The European Commission, through Sutherland who was in charge of the Competition Directorate had substantial powers of (1) fine in the event of breach, and (2) to ensure the observance of the Competition Rules. The documents reflect the work of Sutherland and his Cabinet in the carrying out of their activities.

Conditions of Access and Use

Access Conditions

The 30 year rule governing access to the archives of the European Institutions also applies to this fonds. However, derogations can be requested on site.


English, French, German, Spanish

Allied Materials


Notes and Remarks

There could be some overlapping of material between the archival series as some of the files appear to have been maintained by Richard O'Toole, Sutherland's Chef de Cabinet so the existence of duplicates in the various files is a possibility.

Relations Area

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Abstract: L'inventaire du fonds 'Jacques Delors' décrit près de 2000 fichiers digitaux de format PDF transmis en 2015 aux AHUE. Ils sont la reproduction des 12 mètres linéaires de dossiers sur support papier conservés à l'Institut Jacques Delors à Paris. Un accord de partenariat entre ce dernier et les AHUE a en outre été signé en décembre 2015. Les dossiers couvrent l’achèvement du mandat de Jacques Delors comme ministre de l’Economie et des Finances sous la Présidence de François Mitterrand, puis les ...
Fonds: JD
Description Level: Fonds
Dates: 1984 to 1994
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