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About the Speech: In this address to the IIEA, Jonathan Faull provided the European Commission perspective on issues appertaining to the UK’s EU membership referendum. His address was very timely as it followed the publication in a letter to Donald Tusk on 10 November 2015 of the long-awaited EU reform proposals by the UK PM, David Cameron. With the clarification of the UK’s proposed reforms, the debate over the UK reform agenda and the subsequent British referendum will now begin in earnest. The Prime Minister has called for this referendum to be held as soon as possible, but much will depend on the progress made in the negotiations between the UK and its European partners in the coming months.
About the Speaker: Born in the UK in 1954, Jonathan Faull joined the European Commission in 1978, after studying law at the University of Sussex and the College of Europe (Bruges). He is currently Director General of the European Commission’s Task Force on the British referendum on EU membership. He spent most of his early Commission career in the Directorate General of Competition, From 1989 to 1992 he worked in the cabinet (private office) of the competition Commissioner (Leon Brittan). From 1999 to 2003 he was the Commission’s chief press spokesman and Director General of Press and Communication; from 2003 to 2010 Director General of Justice and Home Affairs and from 2010 to 2015 Director General of Internal Market and Services and then of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. He is the author of many articles on European law and policy and co-editor of a leading work on European Competition Law, Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Emeritus Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Visiting Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s, King’s College and a Member of the Research Council of the European University Institute.