Doctor of political science (international relations) on the topic of the decision-making process during the fall of the Berlin wall, I lectured for 10 years on European institutions at a business school in Brussels (EPHEC). I made my first concrete steps into Europe as head of the Erasmus and Tempus programmes as early as 1988.
Expertise on lobbying for a regional body
In 2000, I was appointed within the Permanent Representation of Belgium as Diplomatic Representative of the Brussels-Capital Region to the European Union. For 11 years and 16 days, I defended its interests in the Council of Ministers of Europe. I was part of two Belgian Presidencies (in 2001 and 2010), and 20 EU Presidencies overall.
During the Belgian Presidency of 2001 and the Spanish and Finnish presidencies, I was spokesperson for Belgium at the « Research » Group in the Council and took part in the final negotiations on the 6th Framework Programme for Research. During the 2010 Belgian Presidency, I was spokesperson for Belgium on the urban dimension of structural funds. I was also representing the Belgian Presidency at the steering committee of the WIRE Conference (Week of Innovation Regions).
Expertise on regional issues
Every day I deal with a broad range of issues, from education, governance, cohesion policy, research, mobility, as well as external policies (Euro-Mediterranean partnership, neighbourhood policy…) that are all part of the regional dimension. For 10 years, I have been following dossiers that are directly connected to the structural funds (cohesion policy, transport, regions of knowledge, environment, innovation…). Currently, priority is given to the dossiers on cohesion policy post-2013, climate change and sustainable development, financial perspectives and urban transport.