The terrorist attack on Brussels has highlighted the need for more and better coordination of counter-terrorism measures not only in Belgium but also throughout Europe. With the investigation ongoing, we spoke with Belgium’s Ambassador to the United States, veteran diplomat Johan Verbeke, who shared thoughts on his country’s response and also on improving security strategy among the nations of the EU. That’s the focus of this edition of  Wilson Center NOW.



Johan Verbeke was appointed as Ambassador of Belgian to the United States in 2014. Verbeke previously served as ambassador of permanent representative to the United Nations in New York (2004-08) and special representative of the United Nation Secretary General in Georgia and Head of UNOMIG (2008-09) and ambassador of Belgian to The United Kingdom (2010 to 2013). He was briefly the UN special coordinator for Lebanon, serving as the United Nations Secretary General's representative in Lebanon. When he served as Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations, he presented his credentials to the United Nations Secretary-General on September 16, 2004. Ambassador Verbeke joined the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981 and has served in various capacities for his country's foreign service, including as Chairman of the Security Council Sanctions Committees on Côte d'Ivoire, Iran and Al Qaida/Taliban, leader of the Security Council Mission to Kosovo (April 2007), Facilitator of the President of the General Assembly for the negotiation of General Assembly-resolutions on Millennium Development Goals-implementation and Economic and Social Council-reform (2005–2006), Personal Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counter-Terrorism (2003), Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (2002–2005).


John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.