Lowe, Philip

1947 (1947 (Leeds [United Kingdom]))
Historical Notes

Philip Lowe was born in Leeds in 1947 and attended schools there and in Reading before going to St. John's College, Oxford where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics. In 1968, he started his professional career in the manufacturing industry. He also followed the two-year M.Sc. Programme at London Business School. He joined the European Commission in 1973, working in the field of loans and borrowings, steel restructuring and regional development. In 1989 he was appointed as Chef de Cabinet of Bruce Millan, European Commissioner for Regional Policies, before moving to the European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture in 1991, where he was Director of Rural Agriculture. In 1995 Lowe was appointed as director of the Merger Task Force, a unit of the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition which examined notifications and prepared decisions according to Merger Regulation. He left the Merger Task Force in 1995 to become Chef de Cabinet of Neil Kinnock, then Commissioner for Transport and Transeuropean Networks in the Commission of Jacques Santer, a position he held until December 1997, when he was appointed as Director General for the European Commission Directorate-General for Development. There, he dealt with the renegotiation of the Lomé Convention and with the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) fraud allegations. From June 2000 to January 2002 he was once again Chef de Cabinet for Neil Kinnock, who was at this point vice-president responsible for administrative reform in the Commission of Romano Prodi. He was then briefly seconded to the European Commission Secretariat General where he was acting Deputy Secretary General responsible for relations with the Council of the European Union, before becoming the first non-German to be Director General of the Directorate-General for Competition in September 2002. In February 2010 he was appointed Director-General of the European Commission Directorate-General for Energy, a position he held until 2014.

Outside of the Commission, Lowe has held positions including: Member of the Advisory Board of Bath University (from 2000), chair of the European University Institute’s EU Competition Law and Policy Workshop (from 2010), and non-executive director of the Competition and Markets Authority (since 2013).

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