Jean De Ruyt

Jean De Ruyt

Senior European Policy Advisor
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Covington & Burling LLP
Kunstlaan 44 Avenue des Arts
B-1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 549 5289



  • Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, 1970
  • Louvain University Law School, 1969
    • Doctorate in Law
  • Collège St-Michel


  • French
  • Dutch
  • Italian
  • English

Ambassador Jean De Ruyt is a senior public policy advisor in Covington’s EU Government Affairs team.  Ambassador De Ruyt, a non-lawyer, is among the most experienced diplomats in Europe.  Most recently, he served as the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union and was chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives during the 2010 Belgian Presidency of the Council.

Ambassador De Ruyt works with Covington's transatlantic government affairs team, which includes experienced lawyers as well as former senior policymakers.  The team advises clients on a range of European public affairs issues, including the EU policy-making processes, functioning of the European institutions, development of EU legislation and accession of new EU members.  Ambassador De Ruyt has particular expertise in the workings of the EU Council and EU institutions more broadly, transatlantic relations and United Nations development policy.

Ambassador De Ruyt was closely involved in Europe’s response to the financial crisis and the resulting legislation at the European level.  He was instrumental in the creation of the European diplomatic service and, as the Permanent Representative, facilitated the resolution of a variety of state aid and competition policy disputes for Belgian companies.

Ambassador De Ruyt was involved in the negotiation of the European Single Act and the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, in initiatives relating to the implementation of the Oslo agreements in the Middle East and in the rebuilding of peace in Central Africa.  He also participated in the stabilisation of former Yugoslavia and the development of NATO and European Defence.

Previous Experience

  • Special envoy for the European External Action Service (September 2011-January 2012)
  • Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union (2007-2011)
  • Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU (COREPER) during the Belgian Presidency (2010)
  • Ambassador of Belgium to Italy, Albania and the Republic of San Marino (2004-2007)
  • Permanent Representative of Belgium to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) (2004-2007)
  • Permanent Representative of Belgium to the UN (2001-2004)
  • Director General for Political Affairs and member of the Political Committee of the European Union (1997-2001)
  • Permanent Representative to NATO (1996-1997)
  • Ambassador of Belgium to Poland (1994-1996)
  • Director of Strategic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry, Belgium, as well as Senior Official to OSCE and Permanent Representative of Belgium to the Western European Union (WEU) (1991-1994)
  • Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington (1987- 2001)
  • Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union (1982-1987)
  • Head of the Belgian Industrial Information Service promoting American and Canadian investments to Belgium (1978-1981)

Honors and Rankings

  • Grand Officier de l’Ordre de Léopold
  • Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member, Egmont Institute
  • Founding Member of Friends of Europe
  • Professor invited, Louvain University

Publications and Speeches

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