EU mourns death of former Commissioner Peter Sutherland

Former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland | Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

EU mourns death of former Commissioner Peter Sutherland

Erstwhile Irish attorney general and World Trade Organization head died Sunday, aged 71.


1/7/18, 7:29 PM CET

Updated 1/8/18, 2:33 PM CET

EU officials remembered former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland as a a “true” and “committed” European after he died Sunday at the age of 71.

Sutherland became the youngest-ever European commissioner in 1985 at the age of 38, in charge of competition and briefly education under European Commission President Jacques Delors. Before that he worked as Ireland’s attorney general and later became director general of the World Trade Organization.

Sutherland had been ill for some time before his death, according to media reports.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was “deeply saddened” by the news.

“In every sense of the word Peter Sutherland was a true European,” Juncker said in a statement. “He was one of the founding fathers of the Erasmus program and was instrumental in shaping our internal market in the early days and competition policy as we know it today.”

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar struck a similar note. “He was a statesman in every sense of the word; an Irishman, a committed European and a proud internationalist,” Varadkar tweeted. “Throughout his life, he was a champion for individual and economic freedoms.”

Irish Commissioner Phil Hogan, in charge of agriculture and rural development, tweeted: “Peter was probably Ireland’s most distinguished international statesman. A true believer in the European ideal.”

Sara Stefanini 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *