Dr. Günter Burghardt concentrates his legal practice on the government relations aspects with respect, in particular, to regulatory matters, trade policy issues, and antitrust.

Günter joined Mayer Brown International in 2005. Previously, he served as the European Union’s Ambassador to the United States (2000–2004) and as the European Commission’s Director General for External Relations under Commissioners Chris Patten (1999–2000) and Hans van den Broek (1993–1999). Earlier (1985–1993), he fulfilled an appointment as Aide to Commission President Jacques Delors, during which he held posts as Deputy Chief of Staff and Political Director. Günter participated in many of the Delors presidency’s major achievements, including the completion of the EU’s Internal Market Program; the introduction of Europe’s single currency, the Euro; the Union’s key role in helping to bring about German unification; the historic process leading to full EU membership of Europe’s new democracies; and the strengthening of the transatlantic partnership between the EU and the United States.

From 1981 to 1984, Günter served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the EU’s Commissioner for Internal Market, Environment Protection, and Nuclear Safety and Innovation. He also held posts as Assistant to Sir Roy Denman, Director General for External Relations (1978–1980); as Desk Officer for relations with the United States, Canada and Australia (1972–1980); and as a member of the Commission’s Legal Service (1970–1972).

Günter is a recipient of the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class, of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse); the Robert Schuman Medal of the European Commission; and the Europe Medal of the State of Bavaria, Germany. He is fluent or conversant in German (native speaker), French, English, Dutch and Italian.

Spoken Languages

  • German
  • French
  • English
  • Dutch
  • Italian


University of Hamburg, PhD

German law degrees (Referendar 1966, Assessor 1969)

Post-graduate studies in law and economics in France and the UK


  • Former Special Advisor to EU Commissioner Rehn (Commissioner for Enlargement) in relation to political aspects of enlargement and in relation to the Western Balkans, including the position of the EU Member States, as well as other aspects of external relations
  • Former Visiting Professor, College of Europe and Ghent University (2005 to 2012)
  • Member, Advisory Board — Friends of Europe; Transatlantic Policy Network; European Institute in Washington DC; Itinera Institute Belgium; Vice-President EU-Russia Centre and Club of Rome EU Chapter
  • Member, American Chamber of Commerce to the EU
  • Member, German Economic Council
  • Member, Kangaroo Group