Interview with Hayes, Eric

From the The European Commission 1986-2000. Memories of an institution Collection

Identity Statement

HAEU Reference Code
Interview Informations

Recorded in 11 October 2016 Aarhus
Interview by Haakon Andreas Ikonomou in English

Access Level
Open Transcript, Open Audio

Electronic File



During the interview Mr Hayes discussed the following topics:
- Deputy Head, then Head of Unit for relations with EFTA countries, DG1;
- Head of Delegation in Helsinki, setting up the Delegation;
- the great transformation of Europe with the fall of the Berlin wall and the Soviet empire, and the effects on the EFTA enlargement;
- the EEA process;
- the Finns as different from the rest of the Nordics
- neutrality: ‘the dog that didn’t bark’;
- Head of Unit for relations with North America, DG1/DG RELEX;
- multilateral trade negotiations;
- Uruguay Round;
- Maastricht Treaty;
- Monetary Union and US-NATO-EU relations;
- G7 and the Quad, obstacles to multilateral trade agreements in the 1990s and comparisons with TTIP, disagreements on agriculture and GMOs;
- Economic Assistant to Director General DG1;
- The Delors Presidency, Commission in the driver’s seat;
- growing intergovernmentalism and side-lining of the Commission from mid-1990s onwards, comparing Thorn and Delors;
- comparing Fielding and Krenzler;
- Head of Delegation in Ottawa: free trade agreement with Canada, Rogue ambassadors pushing EU-Canada trade deal;
- Institutional reforms and restructuring of the RELEX services, splitting trade and politics, duplication of work: a poor reform taking powers from the Commission.

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