Brussels Who's who

Check who in Brussels is in charge of EU international cultural relations!

This kick-start initiative is to give cultural professionals easier access to EU policy-making for them to engage directly with EU institutions.

Our Who’s Who is constantly work in progress, a living tool.

If you would like to contribute to or feature in our culture Solutions Brussels Who’s Who, contact us!


European Commission

European Commission

Check all the Commission’s DGs


European External Action Service

European Parliament

Brussels-based EU initiatives

Eco & Social Committee

Committee of the Regions

EEAS officials leading on international cultural relations

Christian Leffler

Deputy Secretary General

Email address:

Phone: +32 2 584 55 02

Something special about him:

Christian Leffler is in charge of transversal issues and among them you find culture in diplomacy. He has an oversight responsibility that the cultural dimension is properly integrated in different strands of external action and ensuring coherence with action taken by commission services like DEVCO and EAC.

Mr Leffler believes that diplomacy needs to become more culture sensitive. The ideas of culture that he tries to pursue internally are the ones of more non-static and non-representative culture; thus more culture as a means in diplomatic work.

How for example can culture play a role in reconciliation, prevention, and creating dialogue in order to overcome conflict and help build societies that can come to terms with themselves.

Diego Marani

Cultural Policy Coordinator

Email address:

Phone: +32 2 5849910

Something special about him:

Diego Marani is an interpreter by training and graduated at the University of Trieste in 1983. He is an EU official since 1985. First working at the Council of Ministers, in 2006 he joined the Directorate General for Culture of the European Commission where he was in charge of the policy of multilingualism. In this position he dealt with issues such as literary translation, early language learning and the New Narrative for Europe initiative with President Barroso. In 2014 he was appointed advisor to the Italian Culture Minister and dealt with European affairs under the Italian Presidency of the E.U.

In 2015 Diego Marani joined the European External Action Service where he is Cultural policy coordinator. In this position Diego Marani  co-drafted the Communication "Towards an EU strategy in international cultural relations" and conceived the EU-Western Balkans Cultural Heritage Route, implemented by EU Delegations in the region.

 Diego Marani is also a columnist and a writer, author of many novels, among which the prize-winning "New Finnish Grammar", translated in 15 languages. He is the inventor of the mock-language Europanto in which he has published the collection of short stories "Las adventuras des Inspector Cabillot" and articles in several European newspapers. He writes columns on cultural matters for several Italian newspapers and keeps a blog in the European website


Pietro de Matteis

Advisor on public diplomacy

Email address:

Phone: +32 2 584 3296

Something special about him:

Pietro is responsible for developing a more joined-up approach to European Public Diplomacy and has been involved since early stage in the drafting of the Joint Communication "Towards an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations" 

He is also at the origin of flagship Public and Cultural Diplomacy initiatives under the Partnership Instrument, such as the Cultural Diplomacy Platform, the EU Film Repository for Film Festivals, the EU Alumni Engagement Initiative and EU Policy and Outreach Partnership (EUPOP) contracts worldwide. Currently he is working to frame Public Diplomacy under the upcoming EU Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).





Katherine Heid

Public profile:

Email address:
Phone: +32 2 546 8096

Something special about her:

Formerly an elected member of Culture Action Europe’s Executive Committee, Katherine joined Culture Action Europe's team in 2015 as Head of political development and then became Acting Secretary General. In 2018, she joined the European Economic and Social Committee as Member of Cabinet.

A German and British national, Mrs Heid holds a graduate degree in psychology and political sciences, specialising in intercultural and neuropsychology. She is a former professional dancer and her passion for culture and for re-thinking communities has driven her career in the arts, intercultural exchange, youth and European politics.

Committee of the Regions

In the future we hope to be able to add key contacts in the Committee of the Regions