The right of defence is a fundamental principle in trade proceedings and a key element of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Hearing Officer acts upon reasoned requests of interested parties involved in a trade proceeding, including authorities of third countries concerned, and Commission services.
The role of the Hearing Officer
- safeguard the effective exercise of the procedural rights of the interested parties
- ensure that trade proceedings are handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time
Read the Terms of Reference of the Hearing Officer
The Hearing Officer can organise and chair hearings, make recommendations to the services responsible for the investigation and make decisions on certain issues concerning rights of parties.
The function was created in 2007, to facilitate communication between interested parties and Commission services in trade proceedings, and to offer mediation - on procedural issues - between interested parties and Directorate-General for Trade.
The Hearing Officer is attached, for administrative purposes, to the Cabinet of the Commissioner for Trade. He works independently from Commission services and reports directly to the Commissioner for Trade. The Hearing Officer also provides independent policy advice on trade proceeding to the Commissioner and the Director General for Trade. This reflects his role as an interface between the Commission services and the interested parties.
For further details about the activities of the Hearing Officer, see Annual Reports
Contact the Hearing Officer
Gerhard Hannes WELGE
Tel.: +32 (0)2 296 81 62
Adviser and Assistant
Brigitte HEINRICHS, Adviser
Tel.: +32 (0)2 295 51 00
Karlota DUMITRU, Assistant
Tel.: +32 (0)2 298 58 89
Rue de la Loi 170
Fax: +32 (0)2 292 01 49