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Alumni Profile

Bernard Blazkiewicz

I am working as a legal officer in the European Commission, in the department responsible for Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. I deal with the law of the sea, international fisheries laws, and the transposition of international norms in this area into the legal order of the European Union. I am a co-desk for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) and the Central Bering Sea Convention, and I am involved in preparation of the EU positions for international negotiations at the meetings of these two organisations.

Almost 18 years have elapsed since my IOI Training Programme. Before the Programme, I worked also as a maritime lawyer. My participation in the Programme broadened my perspective, opening up the multidimensionality of the Ocean and polyphony of Oceanic legal issues, and also exposed me to problems of developing countries. The Programme participants, coming from 18 different countries, gave a glimpse of the international dimension of my future work.

Following the Programme, I continued at Dalhousie, where I completed graduate studies in law, combined with teaching the law of the sea at the Programme and doing research for the IOI on deep seabed mining, the Arctic and marine genetic resources beyond national jurisdiction. My time at IOI and Dalhousie was very stimulating at a professional and personal level. In particular, I was very privileged to participate in Elisabeth’s lecturing and her student potluck events, as well to converse on various legal and other topics with Judge Ronald St. John Macdonald. Their personalities and thinking were quite influential.

The Programme also had a big impact on my professional path. Prior to my current position, I worked for the European Union Delegation in the Pacific in Fiji Islands. I dealt with development and cooperation programmes for the Pacific Region, in particular Kiribati and Nauru. Keeping close relations with small islands developing states, truly Ocean people helped me to understand better problems of developing countries, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the marine policy and law.

Bernard Blazkiewicz
Legal Officer, European Commission
Brussels, Belgium


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Last updated: 15th May 2019