Biography Dr. Wytze Th. Russchen – After graduating at the University of Groningen (Masters in International Relations), Wytze started working in the European Parliament. First as assistant to the ALDE Group and later as political adviser to Willy De Clercq, Member of the European Parliament, ALDE President and Belgian Minister of State. Wytze assisted Willy De Clercq, former deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and European Commissioner, first in his capacity as Chairman of the Trade Committee and, after that, the Legal Affairs & Market Committee.
Wytze became Press and Parliamentary Officer at BUSINESSEUROPE, the voice of European business. In 2001 he was appointed spokesman and chief lobbyist for the Dutch employers’ association VNO-NCW, both in The Hague and Brussels. As Senior Adviser European Affairs, Wytze Russchen returned full-time to Brussels in 2004, charged with the Dutch EU Presidency, followed by a secondment to FEDIL, the Luxembourg employers’ umbrella, during the Luxembourg Council Presidency in 2005.
In 2005 Wytze founded Russchen Consultants, a lobby ’boutique’ providing advice and support to multinationals, NGOs and associations on government relations, PA/PR, communication and events. Wytze has served for seven years as the Conference Director of the European Business Summit, being responsibe for its content and programme, bringing together yearly 2.500 political and business leaders. For a decade Wytze has been consultant to BUSINESSEUROPE as Manager of the Advisory and Support Group, which grew from 18 corporate members in 2005 to 69 members in 2015. Wytze was also Director of three EC-funded pre-accession projects (BOSMIP II/ III/IV), bringing EU and CEEC business (and civil society) communities closer together.
Wytze sold Russchen Consultants in 2014 but relaunched his lobby activities by establishing Access2Europe in 2015. He was candidate for the European Parliament (1999 and 2004) and is the author of three books: ‘Het Oliemannetje – Toplobbyist in Europa’ (2014), ‘#Post uit Brussel’ (2015) and ‘The Fixer’ (2016). Wytze founded Dutch Network Brussels and was the driving force behind a vast range of professional & societal networks, such as ‘Dutch-EU CEO Industry Table’, ‘Politiek Café’ and ‘Crazy Orange’. He created InZentive in Barcelona and serves as deputy SG of Civico Europa. Wytze Russchen has been elected one of the ten most influential Dutch people in Brussels. In 2016 he was Knighted by H.M. King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands.