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|European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom's Exit from the European Union|
|Assumed office |
6 December 2016
|Council President||Donald Tusk|
|Commission President||Jean-Claude Juncker|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services|
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
|President||José Manuel Barroso|
|Preceded by||Charlie McCreevy|
|Succeeded by||Elżbieta Bieńkowska|
|Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries|
19 June 2007 – 22 June 2009
|Prime Minister||François Fillon|
|Preceded by||Christine Lagarde|
|Succeeded by||Bruno Le Maire|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
31 March 2004 – 31 March 2005
|Prime Minister||Jean-Pierre Raffarin|
|Preceded by||Dominique de Villepin|
|Succeeded by||Philippe Douste-Blazy|
|European Commissioner for Regional Policy|
13 September 1999 – 31 March 2004
|Preceded by||Monika Wulf-Mathies|
|Succeeded by||Jacques Barrot|
|Minister of State for European Affairs|
18 May 1995 – 3 June 1997
|Prime Minister||Alain Juppé|
|Preceded by||Alain Lamassoure|
|Succeeded by||Pierre Moscovici|
|Minister of the Environment and Way of Life|
29 March 1993 – 18 March 1995
|Prime Minister||Édouard Balladur|
|Preceded by||Ségolène Royal|
|Succeeded by||Corinne Lepage|
|Member of the National Assembly|
for Savoie's 2nd constituency
12 June 1978 – 1 May 1993
|Preceded by||Maurice Blanc|
|Succeeded by||Hervé Gaymard|
Michel Bernard Barnier
9 January 1951
La Tronche, France
|Rally for the Republic (Before 2002)|
Union for a Popular Movement (2002–2015)
Isabelle Altmayer (m. 1982)
Michel Bernard Barnier (born 9 January 1951) is a French politician and EU official serving as European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union since December 2016.
He has served in several French cabinet positions such as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2005, Minister of State for European Affairs from 1995 to 1997, and Minister of the Environment and Way of Life from 1993 to 1995. He also served at European level as European Commissioner for Regional Policy (1999–2004) and European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services (2010–2014); he also was vice president of the European People's Party from 2010 to 2015.
Barnier was appointed Minister for Agriculture in the French government on 18 June 2007, stepping down on 7 June 2009 upon his election as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). He served as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services under Barroso.
The European Commission has appointed him as its chief negotiator in charge of the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
Barnier served on the staff of various Gaullist ministers in the 1970s, before being elected in 1978, aged 27, to the French National Assembly as Deputy for the Department of Savoie representing the neo-Gaullists, Rally for the Republic (RPR), serving until 1993.
Barnier first joined the French Cabinet as Minister of the Environment following the Right's landslide victory in the 1993 legislative election. In 1995, Jacques Chirac appointed him Secretary of State for European Affairs, serving as such until the defeat of the presidential majority in the 1997 legislative election. Barnier then served as a European Commissioner for Regional Policy in the Prodi Commission from 1999 until 31 March 2004. Then he served as Foreign Minister of France in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's government until 5 June 2005 when Dominique de Villepin replaced him with Philippe Douste-Blazy. He considered he was unjustly sanctioned for the victory of the "No" in the French referendum over the European Constitution.
In March 2006, Barnier was elected vice president of the European People's Party (EPP) for a three-year term. Under Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency, upon the reshuffle of the French cabinet, caused by the resignation of Alain Juppé after the 2007 French legislative election, he re-joined the French Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture.
In 2016, the French investigating judge Sabine Kheris requested that the case be referred to the Court of Justice of the Republic Michel Barnier, Dominique de Villepin and Michèle Alliot-Marie. These former ministers are suspected of having allowed the exfiltration of the mercenaries responsible for the attack on the Bouaké camp in 2004, killing nine French soldiers. The operation was allegedly intended to justify a response operation against the Laurent Gbagbo government in the context of the 2004 crisis in Ivory Coast.
Barnier worked in 2006 as a special adviser to José Manuel Barroso, the then President of the European Commission, and presented a report to the Council of Ministers proposing the creation of a European civil-protection force. In 2006–2007, he served as member of the Amato Group, a group of high-level European politicians unofficially working on rewriting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe into what became known as the Treaty of Lisbon following its rejection by French and Dutch voters.
Barnier led the UMP list in Ile-de-France for the 2009 European Parliament election. In February 2010 he was confirmed as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. In charge of European banking system reform, he argues for a "coherent single market with intelligent rules that apply everywhere".
He was twice appointed Acting Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship in Antonio Tajani's stead, from 19 April 2014 to 25 May 2014 while he was on electoral campaign leave for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament and from 1 July 2014 to 16 July 2014 after he took up his seat.
As European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Barnier handled many important issues, such as the reform of the financial sector (40 pieces of legislation between 2010 and 2014), the banking union (starting with the Single Supervisory Mechanism) and the digital single market.
On 27 July 2016, he was announced as the European Commission's chief negotiator with the United Kingdom over leaving the European Union, under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Commenting on the appointment, Juncker said: "I wanted an experienced politician for this difficult job."
In January 2019, following the Brady amendment vote in the UK House of Commons, Michel Barnier said the Irish backstop is "part and parcel" of the UK's Brexit withdrawal agreement and will not be renegotiated.
Barnier said to France's RTL radio: "Time is too short to find an alternative arrangement to the Irish backstop and Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union will not be re-opened for negotiation. We ourselves talked of so-called alternative arrangements which could prevent the return of a hard border. Only, no one, on either side, was able to say what arrangement would be needed to ensure controls on goods, animals and merchandise, without having a border. We have neither the time, nor the technologies."
Barnier said he hoped that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn might produce new ideas. He said the EU was prepared to re-write the Political Declaration which provides the outline for a future trade deal.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries 2007–2009
Minister of Foreign Affairs 2004–2005
Minister of European Affairs 1995–1997
Minister of the Environment 1993–1995
Member of European Parliament 2009–2010 (resignation)
National Assembly of France
Senate of France
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michel Barnier.|
Yves-Thibault de Silguy
| French European Commissioner
Served alongside: Pascal Lamy
| European Commissioner for Regional Policy|
Dominique de Villepin
| Minister of Foreign Affairs
| French European Commissioner
| European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
as European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
as European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union