Interview with Byrne, David

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

Identity Statement

HAEU Reference Code
Interview Informations

Recorded in 13 October 2016 Dublin
Interview by Jan-Henrik Meyer in English

Access Level
Open Transcript, Open Audio

Electronic File



In this interview, Mr Byrne discussed the following topics:
- his educational background;
- the accession of Ireland to the EU and his engagement in party politics: the foundation of
Free Legal Advice Centres, the campaign for European entry;
- his career before the Commission: the beginning of his practice in constitutional and administrative law, Senior Counsel in a tribunal of enquiry investigating the beef processing industry, Attorney General;
- the creation of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland;
- his appointment as Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection;
- his role in relation to the international trade in food: negotiations with the US Trade Representative;
- the preparation of European Parliament hearings;
- the BSE crisis;
- his cabinet;
- the creation of DG SANCO;
- the influence of lobbies, NGOs and consumer groups;
- the establishment of the European Food Safety Authority;
- the launching of the campaign on tobacco control;
- the establishment of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control;
- the Cross
- Border Healthcare Directive;
- the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive;
- the public debate around GMO food;
- the White Paper on Food Safety and the Communication on the Precautionary
- the Open Method of Coordination;
- his proposal for a new EU Health Strategy;
- his relations with other commissioners;
- after the Commission, his work at the WHO: International Health Regulations.

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