Sabine Weyand

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Weyand, pictured speaking at the Munich Security Conference in 2019

Sabine Weyand (born 1964)[1] is a German EU senior official. She has played a prominent role in trade negotiations, as an EU co-negotiator for the TTIP and CETA agreements, and in EU Brexit negotiations.

Since June 1st 2019, Weyand has been the EU Director-general for Trade.[2]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Sabine Weyand, the daughter of Heinrich Weyand (1927-2014)[3] and his wife Magda (née Spurk), was born in Saarland and grew up in Körprich, a district of Nalbach. Her father was surveyor in the surveying office of the Saarlouis district as well as mayor of Körprich for the CDU from 1972 to 1989.[4] She has two older siblings, Wolfgang and Waltraud.[5] Weyand was a student at the University of Freiburg from 1983, studying Political Science, Economics, English and Linguistics, including a year of study at the University of Cambridge from 1986 to 1987. In 1991 she received her diploma in Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe.[6] This was followed by a doctorate in political science from the University of Tübingen, which she received in 1995. The topic of her dissertation was the common transport policy of the EU.[7]


Weyand has worked for the European Commission since 1994. Her first position was in the Directorate-General for Industry, where she worked with the automotive industry outside Europe. From 1997 to 1999 she was in the Foreign Relations Department, where she also dealt with economic issues and prepared for the G7 / G8 Summits. From 1999, she was on the staff of EU Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy. She then headed the staff of the Commissioner for Development Assistance and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, from 2004 to 2007. This was followed by a consultant role on the staff of Commission President José Manuel Barroso, from 2007 to 2009, where amongst other things she was involved in international climate and energy negotiations.[7]

From 2009 to 2012 Weyand was the representative of the European Commission to the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States (Coreper I). From 2012, she was then director of the EU Secretariat-General responsible for policy coordination. She also dealt with EU international negotiations such as TTIP with the US, CETA with Canada, EU neighbours and the WTO.[7]

In March 2016, Weyand became Deputy Director-General of the Directorate-General for Trade, responsible for Units E (Neighbourhoods, USA and Canada), F (WTO, Legal Affairs and Trade), G (Trade Strategy and Analysis, Market Access) and H (Trade Defence Instruments).[7]

EU Deputy Chief Negotiator for the Brexit process[edit]

In 2016, Weyand was appointed Deputy Chief Negotiator for the Brexit process, acting as second to EU negotiator Michel Barnier, with effect from October 1st.[8]

Following this appointment the Politico news website listed her as one of the ten most influential women in Brussels,[9] while her interaction with her British opposite number Oliver Robbins was described as "the real engine room" of the Brexit process.[10][11]

Weyand spoke publicly at a European Policy Centre event in January 2019, giving her thoughts on the state of the Brexit negotiations at that time, her opinion on how Theresa May and more broadly the Conservative Party had approached and handled the negotiations, and on how the situation might develop from that date onward.[12][13]

EU Director-general for Trade[edit]

On May 29th 2019, Weyand was announced[14] as the EU's new Director General for Trade with effect from June 1st, replacing Jean-Luc Demarty.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Weyand is married to fellow European Commission official Peter Wagner.[15]


  1. ^ Sabine Weyand Diese Deutsche handelt mit den Briten den Brexit aus Retrieved 15 November 2018 (German)
  2. ^ a b Stearns, Jonathan. "Key EU Brexit Negotiator Is Named Europe's Top Trade Bureaucrat". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  3. ^, retrieved on February 25, 2019.
  4. ^ Article "Heinrich Weyand ist tot. Der Körpricher Kommunalpolitiker ist im Alter von 86 Jahren gestorben", in: Saarbrücker Zeitung, Lokalausgabe Saarlouis/Dillingen, March 27, 2014.
  5. ^, retrieved on February 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Jennifer Rankin, Sabine Weyand: the EU Brexit negotiator with a British sense of humour, The Guardian, 1 February 2019
  7. ^ a b c d Sabine Weyand curriculum vitae, European Commission, March 2016. (via Internet Archive)
  8. ^ European Commission sets up Task Force led by Michel Barnier as Chief Negotiator for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom, European Commission press release, 14 September 2016
  9. ^ Ryan Heath, The Women who Shape Brussels: #8 Sabine Weyand, Politico, 7 October 2016
  10. ^ Florian Eder, Politico Power List 2018: Women to Watch: Sabine Weyand, Politico, 23 April 2018
  11. ^ Ian Wishart, Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks, Bloomberg News, 4 May 2018
  12. ^ Jennifer Rankin and Daniel Boffey, Risk of no-deal Brexit ‘very high’, says key EU negotiator, The Guardian, 28 January 2019
  13. ^ Rare speech by EU's Deputy Brexit negotiator on UK talks, posted to YouTube by Channel 4 News, 29 January 2019. Accessed 1 February 2019
  14. ^ Malmström, Cecilia. "Very happy to welcome @WeyandSabine as new director general for @Trade_EU as from the first of June". Twitter.
  15. ^ Hans von der Burchard (June 26, 2019), Brussels’ Brexit bad cop goes global Politico Europe.