Dierk refers to himself as a "Fish Lawyer."
But,that is only a part of it!

He studied Law at the Universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Genève, and Berlin
before receiving his Juris Doctor from the University of Bonn.
Starting in 1967, he was Germany's Negotiator
German fishing rights (on both sides of the Atlantic)
, while working at the
Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, in Bonn, in its
Division of International Relations and Legal Questions of Fisheries.

This work subsequently led him on quite a journey!

Click image to enlarge.
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)
, 1970s

"You're on the Russian quota list - third net on the right."


Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)

NAFO is a regional fisheries body that incorporates scientific advice and management. Sixteen countries plus the European Union signed the NAFO Convention that applies to most fishery resources of the Northwest Atlantic. NAFO has four coastal countries bordering the
Convention Area: USA, Canada, St.Pierre and Miquelon, and Greenland.

It was not until the middle of the XX century that fishing nations recognized
major threats to the "inexhaustible" resources of the Northwest Atlantic.
The concern and the spirit of cooperation amongst nations
to preserve fish stocks resulted in the establishment of an
international organization
in 1950:

The International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF
which aimed to protect and conserve the fish resources
of the Northwest Atlantic area on the basis of modern fishery science.

After almost 30 years of activity, ICNAF and the International Convention
for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries
were replaced by a new Convention.

In 1979, following the extension of national fisheries jurisdiction by
the Coastal States to 200 nautical miles, ICNAF was replaced by the

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO),

established under the new
Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation
in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries.

NAFO Homepage
Click here

Dierk's role included participation in the

United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea,
which was established to write the first comprehensive international treaty for the oceans
The Conference was convened in New York in 1973.
It ended nine years later with the adoption in 1982 of a constitution for the seas -
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
For nine years, shuttling back and forth between New York and Geneva,
representatives of more than 160 sovereign nations sat down and discussed the
issues, bargained and traded national rights and obligations in the course of the
marathon negotiations that produced the Convention.

For some fascinating information about the
Law of the Sea,
Click here
and here


Off to Brussels...

Click images to enlarge.

Dierk at the European Commission

By 1978 Dierk had extended his career as a negotiator to policy involvement with
the elaboration of the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Community.
This meant a move to Brussels, Belgium, where he worked for the rest of his career.

Berlaymont, Brussels home of the EC

As background
I have compiled some brief Information about the
European Union and European Commission...
Click here

Legal Service, European Commission

In his work at the Commission, Dierk moved up to become a legal expert in
and, by 1994, the Director of the

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The Legal Service acts as in-house legal adviser to the Commission and its services
and represents the Commission before the Courts.
It assists the Commission in its functions of:

Drafting legislation
Conducting international negotiations,
as Guardian of the treaties,
and in the exercise of the implementing powers conferred on it
by the Community legislators or by the Treaties.

This quadruple task means that the Legal Service has a general advisory role.
In order to perform that role effectively, it must be consulted in advance on
all documents to be submitted to the Commission.
Its opinion is conveyed to the full Commission.

Legal Service Website
Click here


In this role, Dierk spent considerable time at the
European Court of Justice
in Luxembourg


He was very involved in such issues as "Mad-cow" Disease in the UK,
difficult banana- and beef-trade negotiations between the EU and the USA,
and other hot topics of our time.

Read about one of his cases...
against France
Click here

Brief information about the European Court of Justice
Click here

European Court of Justice
Home page
Click here

A primary focus of his work over the years was negotiating the
Common Agricultural Policy for the European Union.

CAP policy areas included agricultural markets, rural development,
agriculture and environment, forestry measures, organic farming,
quality policy, promotional measures, financing the CAP,
state aid, evaluation, and research.

Among other things, this work involved negotiations to reduce EU subsidies
to France's notoriously difficult farmers... (see below)

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
(From an article by BBC News )

was the biggest policy concern of the European Community in its early days, and is still one of the major challenges facing the EU. Although spending on CAP has been reduced in recent years, it still consumes almost half the EU budget.

The policy was set up against a backdrop of food shortages and rations
following World War II, and had
five founding aims:

Increased productivity
A fair standard of living for farmers
Stable markets
Regular food supplies
Reasonable prices for consumers

And it was based on three principles:

A single market in farm products with common prices and
free movement of agricultural goods within the Community
Preference for Community members
Shared costs

But, by the early 1980s, intervention buying under the CAP had led to Europe's infamous wine lakes and butter mountains.

The CAP embodied people's worst impressions of the European community and acquired an image of being a corrupt and bloated bureaucracy.

It also stirred up strong passions amongst farmers, making every change and renegotiation of the policy a difficult and emotive issue.

French farmers protest against the reform of the CAP

The forthcoming accession of countries like Poland, with its expanse of poor rural areas, has raised concerns about how to adapt the CAP to the conditions of an enlarged Europe.

Overview of CAP history, its philosophy and changes
Click here

Radical Reforms in CAP
Click here



From Agriculture and Fisheries,
Dierk moved on to work on EU enlargement,

negotiating admission and developing agreements with
new countries being admitted to the European Union
after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He worked particularly on the negotiations with
Norway, Sweden, Finland and Austria in 1993-'94.

Enlargement of the European Union

Ten countries - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia - joined the European Union on 1st May 2004.

Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania hope to do so by 2007.
Turkey hopes to be negotiating its membership in the near future.

Dierk speaks numerous foreign languages,
with working facility in German, French and English;
written understanding of Spanish and Dutch;
and a basic knowledge of Russian.
Living in Brussels for ovr 25 years has meant speaking a lot of French!
So, Dierk's French accent is nearly perfect.

We have witnessed puzzled looks from the French in France,
who ask him if he IS French! Those French just don't think
that anyone, but the French, can speak French well!

Of course, I am entirely jealous of this multi-lingual facility!

From a very early age, I always wanted to speak seven languages.
Apparently, it was fated for Dierk to do for me:
he is a great translator on our travels in Europe!

Then, there is the "Pomp and Circumstance"
that sometimes accompanies his work....
A peak into that world:

Directors' Dinner, European Commission

December 2003

Click images to enlarge.

Click images to enlarge.

Dierk notes that he is wearing a DKNY tie which we gave him.
And he thinks I have added too many photos from this batch and the one below.
But, I think they give Context to his work. So, I have included them anyway.

Dierk retired in December 2003.

EC Retirement Party
Dierk's carrer was honored by 200 guests from the European Commission
A night with many speeches and musical tributes by longtime colleagues.

Click image to enlarge.

Click images to enlarge.

Click images to enlarge.

Daughter Maike and grandson #1, Henrik,
are shown above on the lower right.

Probably few know, that my father's one-time dream for me was
that I become an interpretor for the UN some day.
Or, perhaps, even how much his internationalist philosophy influenced me:

" World Peace will come one, international friendship at a time,"
he once said to me.

But, those of you who know us well will doubtlessly appreciate
the value we place on our long-term relationships with our German family...
and you have doubtlessly seen some consistent trends in
the international friendships that have always been at the core of my life.

It has been important to all of us to pass this tradition on
to a new generation!

Dierk and I still enjoy debating politics, as we have for over 35 years.
That's how we began and probably how it always will be!

He accuses me of being "so ideological;" and I say, that
"[he] would negotiate away [his] own grandmother!"
Last fall we relished in a bit of Bush-bashing together
and then joined in misery over the US Election Results.

Since his retirement, I have begun to keep Dierk apprised of
developments in US foreign policies,
with a regular batch of articles e-mailed from the
NY Times, Washington Post
and other American and English publications,
to which he often responds with wise comments.
So, the discussions continue over the internet on a regular basis.

Ah, yes, Dierk is also the one who named our back yard,
"Perry Parc."

Congratulations, Dierk,
on your Retirement from a stunning career!
With your increased free time, we will be looking for a visit from you soon!

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing and travelling through Europe with you soon!


To see our old stomping grounds along the Rhein
and hear the tale of how we met,
Click here

Our most recent trips with Dierk, Germany and France 2005
Click here

To meet our French friends at the EC...
Click here

For pages about the rest of our extended family,
Return to Index
Click here