Jean De Ruyt

Jean De Ruyt

Ambassador Jean De Ruyt is a senior public policy advisor in Covington’s EU public policy 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.

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New Challenges for European Defense

Two days before NATO celebrated its seventieth anniversary in Watford, close to London on December 3–4, Ursula Von Der Leyen started her 5 years as president of the European Commission. She had announced that her Commission would be ‘geopolitical’, and appointed a commissioner, the French Thierry Breton, to deal with ‘Defense Industry and Space’, among … Continue Reading

The New European Commission 2019-2024

On September 10, Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, presented her new team. If approved by the European Parliament, they will take over from the Juncker Commission on November 1, 2019. This blog outlines the proposed structure of the new Commission, each Commissioner’s portfolio, and the key regulatory priorities that the President … Continue Reading

Elections and Appointments in the European Union

The EU elections began on Thursday, May 23, and run to Sunday, May 26.  These are likely to see a significant change in the make-up of the European Parliament, with the main center-left and center-right parties losing overall control.  It will also kick off formally the process for appointing a new European Commission – which, … Continue Reading

Towards a European Army?

Until recently, even those in Europe who favour the development of an autonomous EU defense capability avoided referring to the setting up of a “European army”. When the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) was included in the Nice treaty in December 2000, the British government of Tony Blair was adamant about the exclusion of … Continue Reading

The June 28 European Council: Four Challenges to EU Solidarity

Transatlantic trade tensions, the Brexit negotiations, migration, and Eurozone reform will dominate the June 28 European Council. Each of these issues are potentially divisive, and the leaders know that a new dose of solidarity will be needed to address them properly. They also know that next year will see additional challenges to the cohesion and … Continue Reading

EU Policy Update for Q1 2018 – Budgets and Upcoming EU Elections, Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, a “Digital Tax” proposal, and Brexit

Four major issues dominated the EU agenda in the first quarter of 2018: institutional adaptations in view of next year’s elections and appointments; a threat by the United States to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium; a proposal for a tax on technology companies; and the beginning of the second phase of the … Continue Reading

Brexit Negotiations, Phase 2: Transition, Trade, and Trouble Ahead

As we mentioned in our previous reports (here and here), “sufficient progress” in the first phase of the Brexit negotiation could not be achieved before the European Council of October 19-20, 2017 – so the heads of government decided to wait until their next meeting, on December 14-15, to assess whether the second phase, dealing … Continue Reading

The Brexit Negotiations:  High Drama at Lunch

In its meeting of December 14-15, the European Council should be deciding whether to launch the second phase of the Brexit negotiation which is the discussion on the future relationship between the UK and the European Union after Brexit. This is eighteen months after the Brexit referendum and almost nine months since British Prime Minister … Continue Reading

Brexit Negotiations in October: Softened Stances, but no “Sufficient Progress”

The third round of the Brexit negotiations, at the end of August, was not very productive. This was despite the British side’s publication of an impressive number of position papers over the course of the summer. These covered various technical questions but also the sensitive issue of the participation in the customs union and how … Continue Reading

Agreement in principle announced for an EU regime on conflict minerals

In a so-called “trilogue” meeting on June 16, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, and the European Commission reached a “political” agreement on the key elements of a regulation that would implement a due diligence and reporting regime for conflict minerals imported in the EU. It has taken more than three years since the … Continue Reading

The closure of the ‘Balkan Road’

The Geopolitics of Europe has been seriously shaken since when in April last year refugees and other migrants started to cross en masse the external borders of the so called Schengen area. The last episode of the migration drama, the agreement concluded on 18 March 2016  between the leaders of the EU and Turkish prime … Continue Reading

The EU – Turkey summit of 29 November 2015 : A “Re-Energised” Relationship

Since April of this year, the EU agenda has been totally dominated by the migration issue. The sudden influx of several hundred thousand refugees from Syria, Eritrea and other conflict zones, but also economic migrants from the Balkan countries and elsewhere, has generated an earthquake of such a magnitude that any other discussion had to … Continue Reading

EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here; a reportedly near-final draft of the agreement can be read here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first calls for such an agreement back in … Continue Reading
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