External speakers

Michel Barnier

Special Counsellor for Defence and Security Policy, European Commission

Michel Barnier is currently Special Adviser to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on matters of security and defense. From October 2016 he will be Chief Negotiator in charge of leading the negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

He has been a minister in several governments in France, as Minister of Environment (1993-1995), for European affairs (1995-1997) and for Foreign affairs (2004-2005). From 1999 to 2004, he was European Commissioner responsible for Regional policy and Institutional reform. In 2007, the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed him Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

In June 2009, Michel Barnier led the French campaign for the European elections and a few months later he was appointed European Commissioner for Internal market and Services. It is in this capacity that he proposed and built the Banking Union, with the support of President José Manuel Barroso.

He graduated from the ESCP European Business School in Paris in 1972. He is married to Isabelle and a father of three children.