Emer Finnegan to lead legal service for two EU institutions

Emer Finnegan to lead legal service for two EU institutions

Emer Finnegan

Irish lawyer Emer Finnegan has been appointed to lead the legal service for the European Council and the Council of the European Union.

She will take up her new position as director-general of the Council Legal Service and as legal counsel of the European Council and the Council from 1 April 2023.

Ms Finnegan has been a director in the Council Legal Service since December 2015. Since October 2018, she has been the director responsible for legal issues in the competitiveness, environment and transport, telecom and energy councils.

She joined the Legal Service in 1999 and has provided legal advice in many policy areas, including justice and home affairs and external relations.

She also worked on the Constitutional Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon, and the Croatian Accession Treaty, as well as the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the UK.

Prior to joining the Legal Service, Ms Finnegan worked as a référendaire in the General Court in Luxembourg and as a solicitor in Brussels and Dublin. She studied Law and French at University College Galway and European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.

The Council Legal Service assists the European Council, the Council and its preparatory bodies in ensuring the legality and the drafting quality of legal acts.

In co-operation with other departments, it contributes to identifying legally correct and politically acceptable solutions. To that end, it gives opinions in complete impartiality — orally or in writing, at the request of the Council or on its own initiative — on any question of a legal nature.

The Legal Service also represents the European Council and the Council in proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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