She presented her credentials to His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General and Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday October 8, 2020.
Ambassador Van Steen is no stranger to the Americas as she just completed a highly successful four-year term as EU Ambassador to Ecuador.
“It’s an honour to be here in the beautiful island of Jamaica. I look forward to working in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, with a view to deepening our comprehensive cooperation, which rests on a close relationship spanning 45 years,” said Ambassador Van Steen.
She reiterated that the European Union will push to remain close to Jamaica and the Caribbean and that she will strive to continue building an even stronger partnership of equals. Particular attention will be given to working with Jamaica while the island navigates the challenges posed by COVID-19. "Looking to the future, I will seek to reinforce our political dialogue built on shared democratic values and our joint aspiration to reinforce efficient multilateralism. We will also be strengthening our firm cooperation in prioritised areas such as health, the environment, citizen security, justice reform and gender-based violence,” she asserted.
Ambassador Van Steen has over 25 years of experience working in diplomacy and international development with the European Union. Before her posting as Ambassador of the European Union to Ecuador, she served as Deputy Head of the Human Resources Division in the European External Action Service; Deputy Head of Mission in Peru and Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission in charge of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
Marianne Van Steen is Belgian. She holds a Bachelor’s in Political Sciences and International Relations (Honours) from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. She also holds a Master’s in Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe, Belgium.