Pascal Lamy

European Commissioner for Trade Director-General of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevêdo

Pascal Lamy
Pascal Lamy, 2006.jpg
Director-General of the World Trade Organization
In office
1 September 2005 – 1 September 2013
Preceded bySupachai Panitchpakdi
Succeeded byRoberto Azevêdo
European Commissioner for Trade
In office
13 September 1999 – 22 November 2004
PresidentRomano Prodi
Preceded byLeon Brittan
Succeeded byPeter Mandelson
Personal details
Born (1947-04-08) 8 April 1947 (age 73)
Levallois-Perret, France
Political partySocialist Party
Spouse(s)Geneviève Lamy
Alma materInstitute of Political Studies, Paris
HEC 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) from 1 September 2005 to 1 September 2013 for 8 years. In April 2009, WTO members reappointed Lamy for a second 4-year term, beginning on 1 September 2009. He was then succeeded by Roberto Azevêdo. Pascal Lamy was also European Commissioner for Trade and is an advisor for the transatlantic think-tank European Horizons,[1] as well as currently serving as 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.[2]

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.


Lamy during the WEF 2010

Member of the European Commission

In 1979 Pascal Lamy was appointed to the post of Secretary General of the “Mayoux Committee”. During 1979-1981 he worked as Deputy Secretary General, then Secretary General of the Interministerial Committee for the Remodelling of Industrial Structures (CIASI) in the Treasury Department. In 1981 Pascal Lamy was technical Adviser, then Deputy Director (June 1982), Office of the Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs (Mr Jacques Delors).[3]

Lamy became Deputy Secretary General, then Secretary General of the Interministerial Committee for the Remodelling of Industrial Structures (CIASI) in the Treasury Department. 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 (heads of department) "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".[4]

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.[5] During his time in office, he pushed for a new Doha round of world trade talks and advocated reform within the WTO.[6]

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.[7] He also served as the chairman of the organization's Trade Negotiations Committee. He was the WTO's fifth director-general.

Also in 2009, Lamy served on the High Level Commission on the Modernization of World Bank Group Governance, which – under the leadership of Ernesto Zedillo – conducted an external review of the World Bank Group's governance.[8]

Later career

Since 2019, Lamy has been serving as President of the Paris Peace Forum. Pascal Lamy is a member of the advisory board of the Prague European Summit.[9]

Other activities

Corporate boards

Non-profit organizations

Personal life

Lamy is married and has three sons. His hobbies include running and cycling.[19]

Select publications


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


  1. ^ "European Horizons – A Transatlantic Think-Tank". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Honorary Degrees for Pensions Campaigner, World Trade Director and Theatre Critic".
  3. ^ "WTO - Director-General selection - Pascal Lamy, biography".
  4. ^ Eppink, Derk-Jan (2007). Life of a European Mandarin: Inside the Commission. Ian Connerty (trans.) (1st ed.). Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo. pp. 22–3. ISBN 978-90-209-7022-7.
  5. ^ "Former EU Mandarin Spills the Beans on Commission Intrigue - DW - 21.09.2007". DW.COM.
  6. ^ Raphael Minder, Frances Williams and Alan Beattie (December 7, 2004), Pascal Lamy in running to head WTO[permanent dead link] Financial Times.
  7. ^ "WTO - News - What's happening at the WTO".
  8. ^ "Outside Review Supports World Bank Group Reform". 21 October 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  9. ^ "International Programme Board".
  10. ^ 2016 Annual Report Bosch.
  11. ^ Council for the Future of Europe Berggruen Institute.
  12. ^ Advisory Board Broader European Leadership Agenda (BELA).
  13. ^ Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
  14. ^ Board of Directors French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS]).
  15. ^ Board Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
  16. ^ Global Advisory Board Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL).
  17. ^ Advisory Council Transparency International.
  18. ^ List of Commissioners UNAIDSLancet Commission on Defeating AIDS.
  19. ^ "Commissioner Pascal Lamy".