Servatius Van Thiel

Prof. Dr. Servatius van Thiel

PILC Director


Present functions

Since 1987 : Professor in International Tax Law (10% VUB - Free University Brussels). Added to this visiting Professor European Taxation (since 1991at ULB Brussels; and since 1993 at Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), European Fiscal Studies; and since 2002 at the PAO of the University of Utrecht (NL), EYE Tax Academy);

Since 1988 : European Union staff member: first with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (1988 - 1990), thereafter with the Council of Ministers in Brussels (from 1990 - 1996 on Eastern Europe, Taxation, Economic and Monetary Union), in the Geneva Liaison Office (from 1996 - 2003 on the World Trade Organisation and a variety of UN organisations), and since 2004 combined in Geneva (Social issues) and Brussels (Head of tax policy unit) .

Since 2003 : "Raadsheer-Plaatsvervanger" (Deputy Judge) in the "Gerechtshof 's-Hertogenbosch" (Regional Court of Appeal, Netherlands). Director of the Post Graduate LL.M. Program on International Legal Co-operation, Free University Brussels.


May 2001: Erasmus University Rotterdam , PH.D (Doctor) in European Taxation

1981-1983: Free University Brussels (B), Faculties of Law and of Economic, Social and Political sciences (Magna Cum Laude LL.M. degree in International and Comparative Law and Cum Laude MA degree in Economics: Industrial Location and Development)

1975-1981: Catholic University Nijmegen (NL), Faculty of Law and Economic Institute ("Meester in de Rechten", Law degree with major in Economics)

Previous experience

1991-2000: Visiting professor on:
  • "World Trade Organisation" at: Turku University (SFL), Post Graduate International Trade Law Course (from 1992 to 2000, 10h to 15h) and at the United Nations University of Peace, European Center for Peace and Development in Belgrade (Serbia) in 2004 (9 hours)
  • "European Taxation" at Turku University (SFL) (from 1992 to 2000, 6h to 9h)
  • "European Tax Law and Policy", at Harvard University International Tax Program, Boston-Cambridge, USA (1997 and 1995)
  • "Business and the Community" at Educational Programs Abroad/European Parliament (from 1992 to 1997, 40h pa)
  • "European Law: the internal market without frontiers" at the University of Georgia Law School, Athens, Georgia, USA (from 1993 to 1995, 12h to 15h);
  • "Tax obstacles to international business transactions" at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, USA (1995, 7h);
  • "Law and Institutions of the European Communities" and "International Tax Law" at the South Central Institute for Politics and Law, Wuhan, Peoples Republic of China (1991, 2 x 36h).
1990-1992 : International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, co-editor International VAT Monitor

1987 : Consultant based in Amsterdam (NL), research assignments on transfer pricing for the Italian Council for Economics and Labour (C.N.E.L.), Rome, and on national mining legislation for the UN Centre for Transnational Corporations, New York

1983-1986 : International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation Amsterdam (NL), Senior research associate, Co-editor African Tax Systems

1985 : United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Research Consultant on an investment and revenue friendly tax systems in West Africa

1985 : Research at the UN Centre for Transnational Corporations, New York (USA) on tax clauses in primary commodity concession agreements, and Observer 40th UNGA

1983 : UNCTAD VI, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Representative of the IBFD

1982-1983 : European Commission, Brussels (B), Legal Service (Programme de formation), D.G. VIII Development (Trainee and subsequently reporter on incentives for European investment in African mining)

1981-1982 : Merck Sharp & Dohme, Brussels (B), Junior assistant to the head of the Corporate Legal Department (10%)

1979-1981 : Catholic University Nijmegen (NL), Junior assistant to Prof. P. Mathijsen, European Law Department (10%)