Ambassador Wouters’ career has included both multilateral and bilateral assignments and has been primarily focused on European affairs.
Dirk Wouters joined the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980. His career started in the consular and disarmament departments, and he went on to dealing with economic and technology issues at the Belgian Embassy in Rome. From 1986, Mr. Wouters was appointed to several important functions in European Affairs, including within the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU. He was also directly involved in several negotiations on revision of the European Treaties (Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, and Lisbon).
In 2001, he was appointed coordinator of the Belgian Presidency and headed for some years the Department of European Coordination and Integration in the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Brussels. Dirk Wouters then assisted Jean Luc Dehaene as Vice President of the Convention on the future of the European Union. From 2003 to 2009, he was Permanent Representative of Belgium to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union. In 2009, Mr. Wouters was called to the office of Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy as his diplomatic advisor and Sherpa. After that, as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dirk Wouters was one of the main architects of the successful Belgian EU-Presidency and key foreign policy decisions on Afghanistan and Libya. He was the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union from 2011 to 2016.
Mr. Wouters is the former Chairman of the Association of diplomats of the Belgian Foreign Service.