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Interview with Guy Trouveroy, Ambassador

07 March 2014

Guy Trouveroy

In January, Ambassador Guy Trouveroy took up his post at the Embassy of Belgium in the UK after 4 years of diplomatic duties in Moscow. He has been active in the Belgian diplomatic service since 1977.

You have been in London for just over a month now. What are your first impressions?
I must admit that my first impressions have been quite overwhelming. This is a great, immense city; politics, economics, lots of culture… I am really looking forward to spending the next 3 years here and, together with my wife, enjoy all its aspects as much as possible.

What do you hope to achieve during your posting in London?
I have not yet made up a business plan. I feel the role of an Ambassador here has a lot to do with public relations and making sure our interests are well represented. I have a tendency to engage in commercial and cultural activities without forsaking political matters, of course. Obviously, the bilateral relationship between the UK and Belgium and political developments are of major importance. And last but by no means least, First World War commemorations will deserve considerable attention in the coming 4 years.

What made you decide to join the Belgian diplomatic corps?
I literally ‘fell in it’. My father was a diplomat so I got a taste from a young age. I hesitated for a while but by the time I had passed my diplomatic exams, I had made up my mind to join the diplomatic service. The two main ideas of public service – being helpful to compatriots – and explore the world, appealed to me.

How do you view the role of an Ambassador?
An Ambassador’s role is pretty much depending on the country you are posted in. The job is not a fixed one, you need to adapt to the circumstances. The UK is a large country; it is an important partner of Belgium and a member of the EU. We cooperate with the UK on quite a few levels so I would say that it is a multitask effort. I have the tendency to push business and finance but for now I am still in my observation period.

What have been your most interesting experiences so far?
I think I have had quite a lively career so far. I have been employed by the Belgian Foreign Ministry for 37 years and have been posted around the world. I was in China and witnessed the events in Tiananmen Square, in India with all its wonders, in Egypt, my place of birth. My family and I have experienced quite a few defining moments. Without ranking them, I would say that they been very enriching experiences and I am grateful to the Foreign Ministry which has allowed us to be part of them.

The life of a diplomat is marked by regular transfers to other countries. How does your family experience these changes? 
That is an excellent question. Fortunately, in our case, my wife and 3 children have not had to deal with too many difficulties. Of course, there have been hurdles. Moving children at a young age was quite feasible even though they wondered why they had to leave their friends behind every 3 to 4 years. However, at a certain age, it was important for them to develop steady roots in Belgium. That’s when we decided to go for Belgian boarding schools while we were abroad. But it does remain a delicate issue.

Do you have a message for the Belgians residing in the UK? 
I would say, enjoy your time in this wonderful and dynamic country and make your contribution. Don’t forget your country of origin and be proud of it. You have a friend in the Belgian Ambassador. You can count on him and his team!