Who we are and what we do:

The Europe – Asia Center is an independent, not-for-profit organization promoting Asia-Europe relations by means of connecting professionals, institutions, organizations and networks across sectors. Through implementation of projects, including conferences, workshops, cultural events, publications, educational and research programs, Europe – Asia Center is connecting people and knowledge across continents.

The center is providing current and comprehensive research, analysis and information on Europe -Asia relations, raising mutual understanding and bridging gaps between social, cultural, business and political spheres in Europe and Asia-Pacific. 


Management Board

Piet Steel
Chairman of the Board

Dr. Wei Shen
Vice-chair of the Board

Rui Yan
Managing Director

Matic Gajšek
Deputy Director

Piet Steel – Chairman

Piet Steel is a Belgian (Ret.) Ambassador, having held between 1975 and 1997 leading diplomatic assignments in Geneva, Hanoi and Hong Kong. Mr Steel retired from the foreign service in 1997 and became Director Public Affairs of the Solvay Group (Belgium), overseeing the chemical and pharmaceutical company’s global government affairs activities.

In 2005 he has joint Toyota Motor Europe as Vice-President of External Affairs, responsible for Government relations in Europe and the EU. The Government of Japan appointed Mr Steel in 2010 Honorary Consul General for the Flanders region.

With his extensive international experience and networks in Europe and Asia, Mr Steel remains to be a trusted advisor of Belgian and international companies. He is furthermore also a Member of the Board of a Belgian real estate company.

Piet Steel is personally engaged in various social and societal organisations. He is Honorary Chairman of the Belgium Hong Kong Society, Co-founder of the Belgium Vietnam Alliance, President of the Board Special Olympics Belgium, President of the Europe Asia Center, Member of the Board of the International Polar Foundation and Vice President of the Strategic Council of the Belgian Polar Secretariat.

He was appointed “Distinguished Visiting Fellow” of the European Business School of Regent’s University in London, Honorary Professor of Xi’an University for International Studies (China), Member of the International Advisory Council of the American European Community Association and Advisor to the Brussels Diplomatic Academy. Piet received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award of the Lions International for dedicated humanitarian services.

He is member of the Warande Club in Brussels, the Hong Kong Club and member of the Ad Hoc Council (London).

Mr. Steel was born in 1950, and is married to Carine Van Leene with two daughters and three grandchildren. He holds a Law Degree from the University of Ghent (Belgium).

Piet is holder of several national and international honorary medals. In 2014, he received the Friendship Medal of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In his free time, he enjoys long distance cycling, reading and cooking.

Dr. Wei Shen – Vice-chair of the Board

Professor Wei SHEN PhD LLM MA FRSA FRGS is the Vice-Chair of Europe-Asia Center, holder of Jean Monnet Chair & Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Relations) at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

Prior to Deakin, he was the UK Director of Confucius Institute and Professor of International Business at Lancaster University (UK), research fellow at Centre Asie of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), research assistant at Loughborough and Oxford Universities. Prof Shen is the founding Co-Chair of Alliance of Chinese and European Business Schools (ACE), Yunshan Chair Professor at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (Guangzhou, China), Board of Directors at Nantien University (Newcastle, Australia) and International Advisory Board member for Beijing Jiaotong University School of Economics and Management, Hong Kong Baptist University Business School, ESC Clermont Business School (France) and Pforzheim University Business School (Germany). He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and has been an invited professor at Sciences Po de Paris, Institut des Hautes Etudes Européennes (Strasbourg), Bayreuth University, Antwerp Management School and several leading Chinese universities.

He received PhD in Human Geography from Loughborough University (UK), LLM from Stockholms Universitet, European Master in Law and Economics and MA in Urban Management from Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, His academic pursuit also led him to CERI/CNRS Sciences Po Paris, Bocconi (Milan), Linkoping, Hamburg and Warwick universities. He has received numerous scholarships and grants from the Royal Society, Universities Committee in London, Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies, European Commission and University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES). He has also worked for a number of international organizations including Council of Europe (Strasbourg), Asia-Europe Foundation (Singapore), International Organisation for Migration (Geneva), UNESCO (Hamburg) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (Rome), as well as a foreign-owned enterprise in Shanghai.

Wei Shen has published widely on the topics of Asia-Europe relations, international education, migration, urbanisation / global city network as well as Chinese economy. He is the Editor in Chief: Asia-Europe Journal (AEJ), an SSCI journal published by Springer and the Series Editor of Routledge Handbook on Europe in the World. His articles and interviews have appeared on Environment and Practices, International Journal of Educational Development, Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies, Chinese Journal of European Studies, Le Monde, L’Atlas des civilisations, Asia-Europe Journal, Le Monde, International Herald Tribune/New York Times, China Daily, Le Tribune, Radio France International, Science Career, UK House of Commons and Xinhua News Agency etc. Wei Shen servd on the editorial board for Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies and has reviewed for the Academy of Management and Cambridge Journal of International Affairs among others.

Professor Shen’s recent research has been funded from the French National Research Agency (ANR), European Science Foundation and European Commission Jean Monnet Programme, and he currently coordinates the UACES-funded Collaborative Research Network on EU-China Relations with colleagues from College of Europe and Free University of Berlin. Wei Shen is an independent academic expert for the European Commission and has been chair/vice-chair/assesor for a number of EU FP7, H2020, Horizon Europe as well as Erasmus+ evaluations. He is part of the peer review college for EFMD accreditations. Wei Shen is the recipient of several awards including the Sir Robert Martin University Medal from Loughborough University, Fellowship of Salzburg Seminar and Our Common Future Fellowship from Volkswagen and Mercator Foundations. He has been invited as keynote and plenary speaker at leading universities around the world and international forums such as China-Europe Forum and BMW Foundation Global Table and gave the Lentecyclus Lecture at the Royal Belgian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Brussels (KVAB) in 2010.

Advisory board

To be announced.