Andy Barnard obituary

Other lives: Dedicated civil servant who was a firm believer in the EU

My husband, Andy Barnard, who has died of cancer aged 52, was a highly respected diplomat. As a committed European, Andy worked for the British civil service’s European fast stream, followed by 20 years at the European commission, and, latterly, for the European External Action Service in Belgium, Bangladesh and Kenya.

He was born in Folkestone, Kent, to Tatiana (nee Lebedeva), who was from Russia, and Philip Barnard. His parents had met while teaching English in Ghana. Andy spent his childhood in Watford, Hertfordshire, where he began his lifelong relationship with Watford FC, which he supported from the age of six. Even when the family later moved to London for his father’s work in adult education and training, he never missed an opportunity to cheer on the Hornets.

After attending Alleyn’s school in Dulwich, south London, Andy became a metallurgy student at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, before moving over to philosophy, politics and economics, graduating with a 2:1 in 1990.

He began his career in the civil service while studying for a master’s in economics at Birkbeck, University of London. In the mid-1990s he moved to Brussels to work for the EU as a seconded national expert specialising in the transition of the former Soviet Union countries towards market economies and, notably, the challenges in the energy sector.

Andy was fluent in Russian and used his linguistic skill in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he worked from 1997 to 2000 as an economist. He also wrote for the Economist and founded and edited a cultural magazine, Tbilisi Pastimes. It was in Georgia that Andy and I met and married.

In 2000, he passed an open competition to join the European commission and we moved from Georgia to Belgium. Our son, Rainsey Barnard, was born in 2004, followed by another son, Sachin Weaver, in 2007. My husband remained based in Belgium, but took up postings to Bangladesh and Kenya.

He was an original thinker, a gifted bridge player and a firm believer in the EU. His great generosity of spirit meant he had a wide and diverse circle of friends. His recent time in Kenya had brought a renewed sense of adventure and fulfilment in both his family and professional life.

Andy is survived by me, our sons, his parents and his sister, Ann.

Rebecca Weaver

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Sir Michael Franklin obituary
Other lives: Civil servant closely involved in the negotiations that led to the UK entry into the EEC in 1973

Robin Franklin

24, Jul, 2019 @3:55 PM

Article image
Andy Henderson obituary
Other lives: Career diplomat who spent 45 years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Alan Fenwick

15, Jan, 2018 @6:01 PM

Article image
Richard Lewartowski obituary
Other lives: One of the unsung heroes who saved thousands of lives in Bosnia

Peter Cooper

20, Aug, 2018 @2:58 PM

Article image
Craig Pickering obituary
Other lives: Civil servant at the Treasury with a great sense of cultural curiosity

Julia Langdon

16, Sep, 2022 @7:32 PM

Article image
Jo Carey obituary
Other lives: Civil servant whose skills helped establish the UK’s position in the EU

Sue Brown

25, Aug, 2022 @7:06 PM

Article image
Alan Christie obituary
Other lives: Dedicated proponent of corporate social responsibility

Shareen Campbell

02, Jan, 2020 @10:59 AM

Article image
Reay Atkinson obituary
Other lives: Senior civil servant who became regional director ot Department of Trade and Industry in Newcastle

Alastair Balls

20, Mar, 2018 @6:23 PM

Article image
Paul Hartnack obituary
Other lives: Comptroller General and chief executive of the Patent Office

Marion Hartnack

25, Jan, 2018 @3:31 PM

Article image
John Gordon obituary
Other lives: The UK’s Permanent Delegate to Unesco from 1983 to 1985

Beth Taylor

26, Feb, 2018 @6:24 PM

Article image
Robert Clark obituary
Other lives: Civil servant who was a committed Quaker

James Mackay

25, Feb, 2018 @5:52 PM