Pascal Kerneis has served as Managing Director since ESF’s creation, in 1999. He is in charge of running the ESF Secretariat on a daily basis.
Pascal Kerneis is a lawyer specialized in European Law. Having completed his Ph. D. thesis on international Trade and European Law, in 1990, Pascal started his career as a legal expert for the European Commission. After having joined the European Banking Federation, he was closely involved in the WTO negotiations on financial services. In December 1997, in Geneva, he participated in the private financial services industry’s effort to help the negotiators achieving a comprehensive agreement, with substantial commitments for the banking sector.
Mr. Kerneis was appointed Managing Director of ESF at the launching meeting of the organisation in January 1999. Since then, he has been able to raise ESF’s profile by advocating the further liberalization of services, and by developing close working relationships with EU and WTO officials. Pascal represents the ESF members both towards European and international institutions and towards professional networks.
On behalf of ESF, Mr. Kerneis is a member of the Civil Society Dialogue’s Contact Group of the DG Trade of the European Commission. As a member of the European Commission Civil Society Advisers Group, Mr. Kerneis participated at the three WTO Ministerial Conferences (Seattle – 1999, Doha – 2002, Cancun – 2003, Hong-Kong – 2005) as Advisor to the EU Trade Commissioners Pascal Lamy and Peter Mandelson in the European Commission official delegations.
He is now a well-recognized expert on International Trade in Services and is regularly invited as a speaker for Forums, hearings or summits organized inter alia by the European Parliament or Chambers of Commerce abroad.