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Europe – Asia Center

Press Release: Ambassador (ret.) Piet Steel stepping down from his position as the chairman of the Europe – Asia Center

Brussels – January 18th, 2024

The Europe – Asia Center announces that chairman Ambassador (ret.) Piet Steel is stepping down from his position. As one of the founding members, Ambassador (ret.) Steel has played a vital role in establishing the Center, advocating for stronger dialogue between Europe and Asia throughout the years.

He is now moving on to pursue the mission of international dialogue and inclusion as a member of the Executive Board of Special Olympics International in Washington D.C., a global organisation championing social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

The entire Board, founding members and management team of the Europe – Asia Center express their deepest gratitude to Ambassador (ret.) Piet Steel for his unwavering commitment and leadership during his tenure.

With this change, I am delighted to announce that Ambassador Jean De Ruyt and H.E. Erik Solheim will take on the roles of Co-Chairs. Both bring extensive experience in international affairs and Europe – Asia cooperation, and we are confident that their vision and leadership will steer the Europe – Asia Center to new heights.

Upon his departure, Ambassador (ret.) Steel shared:

“I retire as Chairman of the Europe Asia Center not without sadness. Despite significant achievements since its founding, the Center still has enormous growth potential in fostering relations between Europe and Asia, diversifying into countries such as Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and others. I am confident they will successfully raise the Center to a new stage in its development.  I wish my successors, co-chairs Ambassador De Ruyt and H.E. Erik Solheim, every success in expanding the Center further, making it sustainable and an accepted partner in a world full of geopolitical challenges”.

About the Europe-Asia Center

The Europe-Asia Center is an independent, not-for-profit organization promoting Asia-Europe relations by connecting professionals, institutions, organizations and networks across all sectors. Through implementation of projects, including conferences, workshops, cultural events, publications, educational and research programs, the mission of the Europe- Asia Center is to connect people and knowledge across continents.

For press enquiries:

Matic Gajšek, Director for Europe, Europe – Asia Center


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