Marianne Houman has a master degree in Philosophy and Law at the KULeuven and studied with an Erasmus exchange program at the University of Sheffield (UK). She started her career in 2009 as deputy-Mertens for the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU during the second half of 2010. This experience allowed her to gain in-depth insights on the EU decision making process. The following three years, she was legal coordinator for customs and trade affairs for the EU office of a global Japanese company where she mainly dealt with product classification issues, binding tariff information requests, duty suspensions and anti-dumping case for solar panels. From end-2013 onwards, she has been EU policy advisor at Voka, Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry. As from mid-2015 she joined the global trade team at EY in Diegem to help companies with the implementation of the Union Customs Code. She gained extensive experience in Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) applications and continuously advises companies in the vast and complex domain of customs and international trade.
It is necessary that the benefits of trade and open markets are better understood by those who account for 70% of GDP and private employment in Belgium: the SME’s, whose share of total export is much smaller.