Ambassador Michael Matthiessen is a recently retired senior EU official with a distinguished diplomatic career spanning over almost 39 years. Michael Matthiessen started as a Danish diplomat for 17 years (working in different capacities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also in the Prime Minister’s Office), followed by 22 years as a senior EU official.
He served in the EU, first as a member of the Policy Unit of the High Representative, and then as Director for Civilian Crisis Management in the Council of the European Union. At the creation of the EU External Action Service (EEAS) he became Director for Parliamentary Affairs.
Michael has vast experience in EU matters as well as in EU-Asia relations. His interest and expertise on Asia grew when he was posted to Singapore as the EU Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (2012-2013). He returned to Brussels after 10 months and was appointed the EU coordinator for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). In this capacity he was instrumental in organising the ASEM Summit in Milan and the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Luxembourg, and also actively involved in the Summit in Ulan Bator hosted by Mongolia. He was also involved in the various side events, not least the Business and Youth Summits.
In parallel with the ASEM coordinator post he was the EU Governor in ASEF (the Asia-Europe Foundation). Both as EU Alternative Senior Official in ASEM and as EU Governor in ASEF he had numerous and frequent contacts with Asian counterparts, and travelled extensively from Brussels to Asia in the period 2013-2016. His last post was as EU Ambassador to Switzerland and to Liechtenstein (2016-2020).
Michael Matthiessen holds a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies in international relations from Sciences Po Paris and a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Aarhus in Denmark. He is Marshall Memorial Fellow and a Knight 1st Class of the Danish Order of the Dannebrog. He is a convinced European as well as a Danish national and lives in the capital of Europe, Brussels.