“With this email, I would like to inform you that the contractual relation between the College of Europe and Prof. Olivier Costa has been terminated today,” Federica Mogherini, the rector of the College of Europe and a former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, wrote to staff and students on Wednesday in an email seen by POLITICO.

In her email, Mogherini did not specify the reason for Costa’s termination. 

When contacted by POLITICO, Costa, now the former director of the department of European political and governance studies, declined to comment. 

A College of Europe committee decided in February the professor could not continue his roles at the Bruges campus after he was found to be in violation of the university’s code of conduct by sexually harassing a current student.

It was then up to Mogherini to act on the committee’s ruling. When reached by POLITICO for comment, Mogherini said: “Sorry, we cannot comment as we are bound to confidentiality and [General Data Protection Regulations].”

In February, POLITICO spoke to more than 20 current and former College students and staff who were candid about the powerful professor, who has deep connections to EU politics. Four female former students, who were in their 20s when they came into contact with the now 50-something professor, shared emails they said demonstrated alleged inappropriate contact that stretched back more than a decade. 

In the e-mail to staff Wednesday, Mogherini added that she remains open for any follow-up questions or concerns. “Our door is always open.”

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