ambassador lectures
ambassador and provost
Ambassador of Belgium Frans van Daele speaks to students (top)
and greets UTSA Provost Guy Bailey.
(Photos: Mark McClendon)

Belgian ambassador meets with UTSA leaders, students to strengthen European ties

By Bronwyn Wingo
Special Projects Writer, UTSA '05

(June 27, 2005)--Ambassador of Belgium Frans van Daele visited UTSA last week to discuss ways to expand the international business studies program.

Van Daele met with several academic program leaders at a luncheon hosted by Guy Bailey, UTSA provost and executive vice president.

The Belgian Consulate initiated the visit to discuss ways for UTSA to work with the consulate and the European Union (EU) to further develop international programs.

According to van Daele, the multicultural environment of UTSA and San Antonio make the university a prime environment for developing stronger central European connections both academically and economically.

Similarly, Belgium has a multiethnic environment, although it is in the heart of the European continent. "The place to be in Europe is my country," said van Daele. "Most of the regulatory activity is happening in Brussels. That's where the action is."

Following the luncheon, the ambassador spoke to an international management class, updating students on happenings within the EU. In conjunction with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the Belgian government founded the Benelux Union, which inspired the establishment of the Common Market and later the EU.

"The union is stable and now is the time for American companies to move into Europe," van Daele noted, encouraging students to take advantage of opportunities to study abroad and become more comfortable with international business and communication.

Van Daele earned a master's degree in philosophy and arts from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. Before becoming Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the United States in August 2002, he served as ambassador and permanent representative of Belgium to the European Union, where he engineered in 2001 the Belgian presidency of the EU Council. Since entering the Foreign Service in 1971, he has served in Athens and Rome, and twice as the Belgian representative to the European communities.

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