On February 15th, our EU fellow Ernesto sat down with the Center for West European Studies’ Student Coordinator, Austin Hudgens, to discuss his career in the Commission and the EU in general. The two sat for an hour to discuss topics such as Brexit, the future of the European project and Ernesto’s path to the Commission.
Ernesto joined the Commission after Spain’s accession to the then European Economic Community. With a background in fisheries science, Ernesto recounted his surprise and excitement at the opportunity to work for Europe within the field of fisheries. “It was like a revelation”, he remembers, “because then suddenly I thought well I was always interested in the practical effects of fisheries research, but I never thought of myself as a fisheries manager.” After becoming a member of the Commission Erensto explained his enthusiasm working for Europe, while also recounting some of the difficulties in separating nationality from Commission service.
The two then went on to talk Brexit and the looming negotiations. In regards to what Ernesto thought would be some of the most contentious areas of Brexit, he responded with, “The one thing that will be extremely contentious is the terms of the divorce”. He also pointed to negotiating on fishing rights and fish stock claims as areas in which there will be great clashes.