The European Commission has appointed Mr. Eric Gippini Fournier as Hearing Officer for competition cases. As of 1 December 2021, he will join Dorothe Dalheimer, who was appointed as Hearing Officer in 2020.
Hearing Officers act as independent arbiter when a dispute arises about the effective exercise of procedural rights in merger and antitrust proceedings and have certain decision-making powers. Hearing Officers are responsible for organising and conducting oral hearings in these cases.
Hearing Officers must act independently in the exercise of their functions. To this end, they are not part of the Directorate-General for Competition, but report directly to Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.
Gippini Fournier is currently a Legal Advisor in the Legal Service of the Commission. A Commission official since 1995, he has held positions in the Directorate General responsible for the Internal Market and in the Commission’s Legal Service, dealing with competition and mergers, state aid, and intellectual property, among other areas. He has extensive experience in competition litigation, having appeared before the European Courts in more than 300 cases. He was also a member of the cabinet of the President of the European Court of Justice. He holds degrees from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the College of Europe (Belgium) and the University of California, Berkeley (US). Prior to joining the Commission, he has worked in academia.