Interview with Bourdeau, Philippe

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

Identity Statement

Reference Code
Interview Informations

Recorded in 15 September 2016 Brussels
Interview by Jan-Henrik Meyer

Access Level
Open Transcript, Open Audio



In this interview, Mr Bourdeau discussed the following issues:
- education and recruitment to Euratom’s Joint Research Centre at Ispra;
- science of ecology, transatlantic connections, radioecology, fallout, growing awareness of
global pollution, science and the scientific basis for environmental regulation;
- Council of Europe, advocacy for environmental research, early cooperation with Carpentier’s Service for the Environment and Consumer Protection (SEPC);
- involvement in International Organisations: CoE, OECD, Scientific Committee on
Problems of the Environment, of the International Council for Science (ICSU), first report on Climate Change, President of SCOPE;
- teaching at Brussels University;
- Head of Biology Department at Ispra, International Communication;
- transatlantic travel;
- move to Brussels, “indirect action reserve” research contracts, support by Altiero Spinelli for first research programme in 1971, COST action, art. 235 to allow funding for non-nuclear research;
- Research Framework Programmes 1983- 4, building Europe of Research, modelled on US
National Science Foundation, agenda setting and policy making, procedures, consultation;
- CREST committee of high level civil servants, contact with European Parliament, growth
of bureaucracy, cooperation with environment directorate, recruitment of environment
officials from Ispra;
- expansion of DG XII with framework programmes, specifics of scientific personnel;
- Stanley Johnson and the European Environmental Agency, relations with Council,
European Environmental Bureau, NGOs and preparation of Environmental Action Programmes, industrial associations;
- REACH, Environmental Chemicals Data and Information Network;
- leaded petrol, asbestos, labour unions;
- European idealism, common good, media use;
- comitology;
- languages;
- task force for European Environmental Agency (EEA), Dobris
report on state of environment;
- groundwork for EEA, difference EPA and EEA;
- Phare, contacts in Eastern Europe;
- opposition and environmental concern;
- G7 and Commission involvement;
- European Research Area;
- connection to Belgian government, Carpentier’s exit from environment, gender, looking
back, environment has improved.

Relations Area

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