It’s your turn now, Pascale Verheust

Dear Pascale, you accepted my job offer and we began working together on 7 June, 1999. Our collaboration has been highly satisfactory day after day ever since then and your professional development has been a success. You were able to establish the right relationships with people and the entities they work for: the European Parliament, industry, and the European Commission. You even recently opened our Association’s door to the very special world of regulators.

When I “re-founded” the Association – now known as the European Energy Forum – at the time of the European elections in 1994 and with the benefit of President Rolf Linkohr’s clairvoyance, I had already been working in these circles for 35 years. I was perfectly at ease in them and, most importantly, I had earned their trust. Here are two memories that are characteristic of this state.

First memory: a meeting between the Commission’s Director General for Energy – who was still my boss at the time – and the president of our Association for the purpose of presenting its prospects for its development. The Director General’s conclusion at the end of the meeting was: “I will help you with all of the resources at my disposal, knowing that your activity will be very beneficial to European energy policy and that your Association is not a lobby group for a particular industry or type of energy.”

Second memory: the representative of a major German group came to tell me that his company would join the Association. He said “We’re not joining because your President is German; we’re joining because we know you!”

Indeed! Pascale, you’ve achieved the same result in a few years: you’ve earned the trust of your partners and know how to work with them.

I’ve followed the gradual progress and consolidation of your relationships with them. Following the success of our one-week study trip to the United States with 20 European deputies – a success you were primarily responsible for – my mind was definitively made up. It was 2008 and you would be the one to take over from me when the time came. Once you had agreed, I presented my plan to our President, Mr Giles Chichester, on 20 April, 2010. I would like to thank him again for giving his approval. We gradually presented the plan to all of the member bodies of our Association: Bureau, Board of Directors, General Meeting and, especially, the ITAC (Industrial and Technical Advisory Committee) to which all of the companies associated with us belong.

No objections were voiced during these consultations and, Pascale Verheust, you are now the Director General of the European Energy Forum. I’m happy for both the Forum and for you!

My very best wishes!

Jean-Claude Charrault
Special Adviser