Una O’Dwyer

Codecision Unit EC

Professional experience

Originally graduating with a doctorate in Applied Physics from the University of Leeds, Dr Una O’Dwyer soon found her true vocation in international and European affairs when she joined the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland on the same day that Ireland joined the European Community, 1 January 1973.

In her career as a diplomat over 18 years, her overseas postings were in the Press Department of the Irish Embassy in London (1974) and the Permanent Representation in Brussels (1977-1982), where she spent five years as Irish representative on the Antici group to prepare the meetings of Coreper II, as well as of the Council of Ministers and of the European Council, including during the Irish Presidency of 1979. Her other responsibilities in that period included European Political Cooperation (1975-1977, including the Irish Presidency of 1975) and Overseas Development Aid (1982-1986). In this last responsibility she chaired EC coordination meetings for conferences of UNCTAD and UNIDO and negotiated on behalf of the European Community in these organisations during the Irish Presidency of 1984.

Dr O’Dwyer moved to the Secretariat General of the European Commission in late1986, where she was given responsibility for the interinstitutional aspects of the implementation of the new decision-making procedures of the Single European Act (1987), as well as more general coordination work in the framework of the Commission’s relations with the European Parliament. She subsequently followed the ongoing changes in interinstitutional decision-making from the introduction of codecision under the Maastricht Treaty (1992), through its extension under the Amsterdam Treaty (1999) almost until codecision became the “ordinary legislative procedure” after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (2010). During this period, she was made Head of Unit of the newly created Codecision Unit in 1999 and secretary of the “GRI” (Groupe des relations interinstitutionnels), the Commission’s internal coordinating mechanism for the preparation of its  political and legislative positions vis-à-vis the other institutions, established in 2004.

Dr O’Dwyer retired from the European Commission in September 2009. Her interests, other than her family and European Affairs, include sailing, music and reading.

Dr O’Dwyer is Senior Fellow at EIPA.

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