Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Prof. Paolo FASELLA (1930-1999)

Professor Paolo Fasella, former Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Science, Research and Development (DG XII), died unexpectedly on Friday 11 June 1999 in Rome.

Prof. Fasella headed DG XII for 14 years before retiring in 1995, and was one of...
Professor Paolo Fasella, former Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Science, Research and Development (DG XII), died unexpectedly on Friday 11 June 1999 in Rome.

Prof. Fasella headed DG XII for 14 years before retiring in 1995, and was one of the principal driving forces behind the European Union's research and technological development programmes. In particular, he promoted the idea of increased cooperation in science and technology within the European Community, facilitated by the creation of a central research database. Today the success of the EU's research Framework Programmes remains as an epitaph to his work, while CORDIS, and now ERGO, have achieved much of his aims in encouraging the exchange of information on research activities.

As Director-General of DG XII he worked successively for five Commissioners - Etienne Davignon, Karl-Heinz Narjes, Filippo Pandolfi, Antonio Ruberti and Edith Cresson. He will be remembered by his staff not only for his contributions to European research, but also for his enthusiasm, energy and personal charm.

Deputy Director-General of DG XII, Hendrik Tent, who worked with Fasella for 12 years, nine of them as his deputy, said: 'Such was his enthusiasm, he was interested in every area under his remit, not only his own specialist areas. He was also interested in human beings and was popular among his staff. He had a remarkable capacity to listen to others, as well as a talent for reaching his own brilliant conclusions.'

Before joining the Commission in 1981, Paolo Fasella pursued a successful international career in science. He became a doctor of medicine in Italy, but soon branched out to other disciplines, notably biology. He held senior positions in laboratories all over the world - from his native Italy to Germany, the former Soviet Union, Japan and the United States. However his interests and knowledge stretched beyond medicine and biology, and there were few areas in which he was not a respected partner in discussion with specialists from other disciplines.

He leaves behind a wife and four daughters.
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