Pascal Lamy

Pascal Lamy
Director-General of the World Trade Organization
In office
1 September 2005  1 September 2013
Preceded by Supachai Panitchpakdi
Succeeded by Roberto Azevêdo
European Commissioner for Trade
In office
13 September 1999  22 November 2004
President Romano Prodi
Preceded by Leon Brittan
Succeeded by Peter Mandelson
Personal details
Born (1947-04-08) 8 April 1947
Levallois-Perret, France
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Geneviève Lamy
Alma mater Institute of Political Studies, Paris
School of High Commercial Studies, Paris
National School of Administration, Strasbourg

Pascal Lamy (born 8 April 1947) is a French political consultant and businessman. He was the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) until 1 September 2013. His appointment took effect on 1 September 2005 for a four-year term. In April 2009, WTO members reappointed Lamy for a second four-year term, beginning on 1 September 2009. He was then succeeded by Roberto Azevêdo. Pascal Lamy was also European Commissioner for Trade and is currently the Honorary President of the Paris-based think tank, Notre Europe.

Early life

Born in Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine, a suburb of Paris, Lamy studied at Sciences Po Paris, from HEC and ÉNA, graduating second in his year of those specialising in economics. Lamy is also an honorary graduate of the University of Warwick.[1]

He then joined the civil service, and in this role he ended up serving as an adviser to Jacques Delors as Economics and Finance Minister and Pierre Mauroy as Prime Minister.

Lamy has been a member of the French Socialist Party since 1969.


Member of the European Commission

When Delors became President of the European Commission in 1984, he took Lamy with him to serve as chef de cabinet, which he did until the end of Delors' term in 1994. During his time there, Lamy became known as the Beast of the Berlaymont, the Gendarme and Exocet due to his habit of ordering civil servants, even Directors-General (head of departments) "precisely what to do – or else." He was seen as ruling Delors' office with a "rod of iron", with no-one able to bypass or manipulate him and those who tried being "banished to one of the less pleasant European postings".[2]

Lamy briefly moved into business at Crédit Lyonnais. Promoted to second in command, he was involved in the restructuring and privatisation of the bank.

Returning to the European Commission in 1999, Lamy was appointed European Commissioner for Trade by Commission President Romano Prodi. Lamy served to the expiry of the commission's term in 2004. His ability to manage the powerful civil servants in his department was noted.[3] During his time in office, he pushed for a new Doha round of world trade talks and advocated reform within the WTO.[4]

Director-General of the WTO, 2005–2013

On 13 May 2005, Lamy was chosen as the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, and took office on 1 September 2005 for a four-year term. He had been nominated by the European Union and won over candidates including Carlos Pérez del Castillo of Uruguay and Jaya Krishna Cuttaree of Mauritius.

On 30 April 2009, Lamy was re-elected unanimously by the WTO General Council for a second term of four years, beginning 1 September 2009.[5] He also served as the chairman of the organization's Trade Negotiations Committee. He was the WTO's fifth director-general.

Other activities

Personal life

Lamy is married and has three sons. His hobbies include running and cycling.[8]

Select publications


The Relationship between WTO Law and General International Law in the Lecture Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law


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Political offices
Preceded by
Édith Cresson
Yves-Thibault de Silguy
French European Commissioner
Served alongside: Michel Barnier
Succeeded by
Jacques Barrot
Preceded by
Leon Brittan
European Commissioner for Trade
Served alongside: Danuta Hübner
Succeeded by
Peter Mandelson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Supachai Panitchpakdi
Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Succeeded by
Roberto Azevêdo
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