Brussels-Montreal: European policy seen by the consuls of Belgium, France and Italy

For the Jean Monnet Debate of 2021, the JMCM is honored to welcome Ms. Silvia Constantini, Consul General of Italy, Ms. Sophie Lagoutte, Consul General of France in Montréal and Mr. Hendrik Van de Velde, Consul General of Belgium for a debate entitled: “Brussels-Montreal: European politics as seen by the consuls of Belgium, France and Italy”.

When?
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 12:00 to 1pm.

Where?
Online. Zoom link sent the day before the event. Please register HERE.


All three have diplomatic experience with or within the European Union.

A career diplomat, Ms. Silvia Costantini has been Consul General of Italy and Permanent Representative of Italy to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), since 2019. During her two decades of career, she has dealt with political, multilateral, bilateral and consular as well as European affairs. Prior to Montreal, she worked as a European Union (EU) diplomat in Brussels and New Delhi. The Consul General holds a Masters in Advanced European Studies, a Masters in Diplomatic Studies and a Diploma in International and Diplomatic Sciences. His work and study experiences abroad give him an exceptional linguistic background. She has studied 11 languages ​​and besides her mother tongue (Italian) she speaks and works fluently in French, English and Spanish. His professional interests include consular and European affairs, international politics and economics. She is also interested in gender issues and opera. In her free time, she practices sports walking.
Ms. Sophie Lagoutte was appointed Consul General of France in Montreal by decree of the President of the Republic in June 2019. She took office on August 30, 2019. Holder of a master’s degree in public affairs from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, she was admitted to the entrance examination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008. She was first an editor in Justice and Home Affairs at the Directorate of the European Union to the central administration in Paris. She was admitted to the foreign affairs advisor competition in 2011 and went to Brussels as a political advisor to the permanent representation of France to the European Union. From 2015 to 2017, she was head of the press service and political advisor at the French Embassy in Israel. Before settling in Montreal, she served as Deputy Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of European Affairs, and of Europe Advisor in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, from 2017 to 2019.
Mr. Hendrik van de Velde is Consul General of Belgium and Permanent Representative to ICAO. He was ambassador to Jordan and Iraq after having been spokesperson for the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A career diplomat, he has 24 years of experience in the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European External Action Service, during which he acquired specific experience and knowledge in the field of European Union affairs. , human rights and democracy, Middle East geopolitics and Eurasian security. Mr. van de Velde has worked in the Belgian embassies in Rwanda, Israel / Palestine, Denmark and at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has extensive experience in conflict prevention and resolution, risk assessment, policy formulation, European decision-making and multilateral negotiations. Previously, he was focal point for human rights at the European Union delegation in Vienna after having been deputy permanent representative of Belgium to the OSCE. He focused on crisis areas in the Caucasus, the Balkans and Central Asia as well as on the future of security in Europe and its links with human rights, democratization and the state of right. Mr. Hendrik

A career diplomat of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (DFAIT), Ms. Silvia Costantini is Consulate General of Italy and Permanent Representative of Italy to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), since March 7, 2019. In her more than two-decade career, she has handled political, multilateral, bilateral and consular, and European affairs. Prior to Montreal, she worked as a European Union (EU) diplomat at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels headquarters and in the Delegation in New Delhi. The Consul General holds a Master’s degree in Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe (Natolin, Poland), a Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Italian Society of International Organizations – SIOI (Rome, Italy) and a Diploma di Laurea in International and Diplomatic Sciences – SID (Gorizia, Italy). Her work and study experiences abroad give her an exceptional linguistic background. She has studied 11 languages. In addition to her native language (Italian) she is fluent in French, English and Spanish. Her professional interests include consular and European affairs; international politics and economics. Her personal interests include gender issues and opera. In her free time she enjoys walking.
Foreign Affairs Advisor (Orient), Ms. Sophie Lagoutte was appointed Consul General of France in Montreal by decree of the President of the Republic on June 24, 2019. She assumed her duties on August 30, 2019. Holder of a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, with a bilingual Franco-German major, she was admitted to the entrance exam for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008. She was initially a Justice and Home Affairs editor in the European Union Directorate at the central administration in Paris. She was admitted to the Foreign Affairs Counsellor competition in 2011 and left for Brussels as a political advisor at the French Permanent Representation to the European Union. Then from 2015 to 2017, she was Head of the Press Office and Political Advisor at the French Embassy in Israel. Before moving to Montreal, she served as Deputy Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of European Affairs, and as Europe Advisor to the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, from 2017 to 2019.
Mr. Hendrik van de Velde is Consul General of Belgium and Permanent Representative to the ICAO. Formerly Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq after a position as Spokesman of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A career diplomat, he has 24 years of experience in the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European External Action Service, during which time he gained particular experience and knowledge in the field of European Union affairs, human rights and democracy, Middle East geopolitics and Eurasian security. Mr. van de Velde has served in the Belgian Embassies in Rwanda, Israel/Palestine, Denmark and at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has extensive experience in conflict prevention and resolution, risk assessment, policy formulation, European decision-making and multilateral negotiations. Previously Human Rights Focal Point at the European Union Delegation in Vienna (OSCE section) after having been Deputy Permanent Representative of Belgium to the OSCE, focusing on crisis areas in the Caucasus, the Balkans and Central Asia as well as on the future of security in Europe and its links with human rights, democratization and the rule of law.



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