Yorgos Altintzís is the Economic and Social Policy Officer of the International Trade Unions Confederation. Mr Altintzís advocates workers’ interests in international trade and investment negotiation processes, advises on the use of trade instruments to promote labour rights, and promotes industrial policy for structural transformation in the global trade agenda. He is a Member of the EU-Korea Domestic Advisory Group and also deals with organising trade unions’ representation in and messaging to global governance processes like the G20, G7, ASEM, and APEC. Mr Altintzís is the Coordinator of the Asia-Europe Labour Forum.
Andrus Ansip is an Estonian politician currently serving as Vice President for the Digital Single Market of the European Commission. He was Prime Minister of Estonia from 2005 to 2014 and Chairman of the liberal Estonian Reform Party from 2004 to 2014. Before his entry into politics Andrus Ansip trained as a chemist and worked in both the banking and the business sector. He was elected in the European Parliament in 2004. Subsequently, he hold the posts of Minister of Economic Affairs and, in April 2005, of Prime Minister Of Estonia. On the 1st of November 2014, he was appointed to the European Commission to serve as Vice President and European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market.
Alejandro Artacho is co-founder and CEO of Spotahome.com, an online booking platform for mid to long term accommodation. Previously, he spent three years in China, where he learnt Chinese and how to negotiate, do business, deal with clients, present in international trade fairs and understand the culture of far-Eastern countries. He also gained experience in international trade, internationalization of businesses and taxation. Alejandro Artacho set up two businesses, registered brands, a trademark and a patent. He is experienced in overseas transactions between Asia and Spain and with clients from all over the world.
Adel Baba-Aissa is the managing director of Renewable Energy Partner. RnE Partner is an advisory boutique firm specialised in renewable energy projects in the Middle East and North Africa. RnE is also dedicated to carrying out its own project development in North Africa. Currently, among others, it is involved in the development of the first privately held and operated solar PV plants in Algeria.Prior to founding Renewable Energy Partner, Mr Baba-Aissa worked at leading law firms in Paris and London. He was involved in corporate, finance and energy transactions around the world. Adel is a qualified Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales as well as being admitted to the New York Bar.
Alain Baetens is Head of Listings for Belgium at Euronext. Before joining Euronext Paris in 2011, he worked for seventeen years for large merchant banks, in several commercial and management functions both in Brussels and Paris. In the last six years of this career period, Alain Baetens worked on various capacities, namely as a Director of corporate banking, Head of coverage for TMT France and Belgium and Head of Product Advisory Business Development. He owns two Master degrees respectively in Applied Economics and International Affairs.
Professor Catherine Barnard is the Chair of EU law at the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow in Law at Trinity College, Cambridge. Catherine is a leading expert on European Union’s law, with special regard to the EU internal market and employment law, and she has published extensively in these fields. Catherine Barnard is also one of the leading experts of “UK in a changing Europe”, an authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations.
Pierre Baussand is the Director of Social Platform, the largest alliance of representative European federations and networks of non-governmental organisations active in the social sector. Social Platform and its members are committed to the advancement of the principles of equality, solidarity, non-discrimination and the promotion and respect of fundamental rights for all in Europe. Prior to Social Platform, Mr Baussand managed a human rights team for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and led several human rights projects for the European Disability Forum. He also conducted field research in the Middle East on human rights and migration
Prof. Sofie Bekaert was trained as a biological engineer and a doctor in applied biological sciences. After ten years of research and while setting up a research platform on biological ageing, next generation sequencing and biomarkers, she became valorisation and innovation Advisor. Currently, she is the Head of the Clinical Research Center at the Ghent University Hospital. As the Head of Bimetra, she has the responsibility of over ~20 co-workers, managing the central point of contact for various aspects of translational research with special regards to bio-banking, trial unit, research and valorisation.
Claes Bengtsson is Advisor to the Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from studies at University of Copenhagen and at Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He has worked for the European Commission since 2002 in different capacities. Most recently as Deputy Head of Unit in the unit dealing with mergers in basic industries. He participated in the drafting of both the horizontal and non-horizontal merger guidelines as well as the guidance paper on enforcement priorities under Article 102. In 2008 he was appointed member of the cabinet of Commissioner Neelie Kroes, and was upon his return to DG Competition appointed Deputy Chief Economist.
Brando Benifei is an Italian Member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament and one of the youngest MEPs in the Parliament . He has acted as Chair of the Young Democrats, as well as Vice-President of ECOSY, the youth organization of the European Socialist Party for four years. He was a member of the PES working group which originally drafted the European Youth Guarantee. His main fields of legislative work in the European Parliament are employment, social and foreign affairs. He is Vice-Chair of the Youth Intergroup and of the Disability Intergroup.
Pervenche Berès is a French MEP and President of the French Socialist delegation in the European Parliament. She is Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, which she was chairing between 2004 and 2009, as well as a substitute Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. She is a deputy Member of the Special Commission ” TAX “. Pervenche Berès was a substitute Member of the European Convention on the European Constitution between 2002 and 2003 and Vice President of the European Parliament delegation to the Convention on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. She was responsible for the Report on the European economic governance which represents the Parliament’s position within the negotiations among the EU institutions.
Vittorio Boero is Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the ICT department of Ferrari and is responsible for both the “Sport Cars – Gran Turismo” and the “Racing Formula 1” division. Previously, he was CIO for International and Business Development at Fiat Group and Fiat Train Technologies. In this capacity, he was responsible for ICT solutions development for both national sales companies and joint ventures, including production plants, as well as for the development of new applications based on the most updated ERP Solutions. By having worked also for Iveco and Irisbus as well as with Chrisler and Tata, Vittorio Boero has an extensive experience in the automotive sector and its potentialities in Europe and globally.
Pierre Chastanet is Deputy Head of Unit Cybersecurity & Digital Privacy in the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission, where he is in charge of cybersecurity industrial policy. He has been working for 10 years in the European Commission in various policy development and programme management assignments, in the area of cybersecurity and privacy, ICT for Societal Challenges, green ICT and network innovation. Prior to that, he held various IT management positions for seven years at Procter & Gamble, including Head of Global ICT Innovation. He started his career in Washington DC in a start-up company working on surgical simulation.
Carl-Christian Buhr is a Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan. Economist and computer scientist as well as qualified auditor, from 2010 to 2014 he was a member of the Cabinet of Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. Previously, he worked on antitrust and merger control investigations in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition and at the European Court of Auditors. Carl-Christian Buhr advises Commissioner Hogan on all budget, control and audit matters as well as on economic policy areas from innovation to growth and jobs.
Reinhard Bütikofer is a Member of the European Parliament for the German Green Party, a Member of the Committee on Industry, Technology, Research and Energy, as well as a substitute Member of both the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence. He is also a Member of the Parliament’s US Delegation and the Transatlantic Legislative Dialogue. Mr. Bütikofer is spokesperson on industrial policy and transatlantic issues for the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament. He leads the German Green Delegation in the European Parliament and he is a co-chair of the European Green Party.
Michele Ciavarini Azzi
Michele Ciavarini Azzi is the President of the Union of the European Federalists of Belgium. He has a long-standing commitment within his organisation and took responsibility, among others, for the running of UEF-BE day-to-day activities and citizens’ campaigns, while representing UEF- Belgium at both at local, national and European level. Michele Ciavarini Azzi has written several contributions and articles in both Belgian and European newspapers concerning European integration-related issues.
Richard Corbett is a member of the European Parliament for the “Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats“ and a Deputy Leader of the Labour MEPs. He is a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Delegation for relations with the United States, as well as a Deputy member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, who was first elected in 1996. Between January 2010 and February 2014, Corbett was an advisor to the first full-time and long-term President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. In this capacity, and as a frequent writer and commentator on European affairs, he was voted by a panel of journalists, academics, retired diplomats and think-tankers on 14 November 2012 as the fourth most influential Briton on EU policy, ahead of the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and Commission Vice President Baroness Ashton. Richard Corbett is also Vice-Chair of the European Movement in the UK.
Marije Cornelissen is a Dutch MEP and a Member of Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. She is also a Substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China. Elected in the European Parliament in 2009, she is Vice-chairwoman of the Greens – European Free Alliance. Marije Cornelissen has been part of both the Feminist Network of the GreenLeft and the European Green Party. She is a former Policy Advisor on women´s rights for the Greens/EFA group and she worked as Director of the Dutch association against discrimination while being the Chairwoman of the Amsterdam-Zuideramstel District Council.
Cécile Coune is Chief Executive Officer, President of the Executive Committee and member of the board of directors of AVIABEL S.A. She is Vice-Chairwoman of the association “Women on Board”, which she co-founded in December 2009 and Co-chairwoman of the European Women on Boards which she co-founded as well in June 2013. Cécile Coune is part of the Executive Committee of the Belgian Federation of Enterprises. Prior to this, she spent over 15 years in the insurance sector. She is also a member of the International Association of Women in Aviation, the Belgian Insurers Association, the Belgian Association of Insurance Lawyers and the Belgian Association of Risk Managers.
Philippe Cupers has a PhD in cell biology and biochemistry from the University of Louvain – de Duve Institute – and has worked at the Harvard University Medical School, at the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology, University of Leuven and at GlaxoSmithKline. He moved in 2001 to the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. He first worked as scientific officer for brain research and then for setting up the Innovative Medicines Initiative. In 2011, he moved back to brain research as Head of Sector before becoming since 1 January 2014 Deputy and then Acting Head of the Unit ‘Strategy’ within the Health Directorate of DG RTD. His responsibilities include the development and promotion of the strategy for health research and innovation. This includes coordination and policy input into the health research activities, and takes into account developments in the Member States (public and private sectors) and on the international scene.
Daniel Dalton is a Conservative MEP for the West Midlands. Prior to January 2015, he worked as a Political Adviser for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, most recently, on Trade, and previously, as an Agriculture specialist. He is now Coordinator for the ECR Group on the Internal Markets and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO). He has led for the Group as Shadow Rapporteur on the two recent copyright reform and IPR files in the IMCO Committee. Daniel Dalton is a graduate of both Coventry and Warwick Universities.
Sebastian ‘Seb’ Dance is a Labour British politician who currently serves as an MEP for the London region. He was elected in 2014 and is a member of both the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the European Parliament Committee on Development. He is also the co-ordinator for the Socialists and Democrats Group for the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector. Prior to becoming an MEP, Seb Dance worked as an advisor to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and for the development charity ActionAid on campaigns on poverty alleviation and international tax avoidance.
Robert Dehm is Counsellor for Information Society and Telecommunications at the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU. The Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU is notably headed by the Permanent Representative to the European Union and it is divided into three main departments – politics, economics and finance – as well as into a range of specialised departments, such as Information Society and Telecommunications.
Gaspar Demur is responsible for the Energy Security Strategy in DG Energy. He previously worked on energy issues in DG Enterprise and Industry, notably on energy efficiency and sustainable production. He has also worked on international relations in DG Justice, where he was in charge of the transatlantic relations, involved notably in the TTIP negotiations.
Bruno Denis is Head of Division, Public Sector/South, Neighbouring Countries Department at the European Investment Bank. Bruno Denis started his career in market research and European consulting in Brussels. He joined the EIB in 1991 after several years in international banking. In the more than 20 years with the EIB, he covered different geographical areas in the Bank’s lending directorate including the Benelux countries, Austria, the UK, Ireland and Denmark as well as more technical assignments covering pricing and product development. From 2008 until 2014 he was Head of Division for the Bank’s lending activity in Turkey. Since then, he is heading the public sector lending activity in the Southern Neighbourhood of the EU covering the Maghreb and Mashreq region.
Bart de Wijs
Bart Wijs is the Head of Cybersecurity of the ABB Power Grids division which he represents at the ABB Group Cyber Security Council, a cross-disciplinary team staffed with resources from various corporate functions. Within the division he leads a team of cyber security specialists dealing with the different aspect of all the security related concerns potentially affecting ABB customers. He is also a member of various cyber security expert groups as well as an ABB representative in public- private partnerships and information sharing initiatives. Between 2007 and 2010 he was responsible for cyber security in ABB’s Power Generation business unit.
Ian Duncan is an MEP from Scotland who is a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and a substitute member of the Industry, Research & Energy Committee. Ian trained as a geologist, and holds a doctorate from Bristol University, where he was a teaching fellow. He began his career with BP, focusing upon prospects in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics. Prior to election, Ian was for seven years Head of the Scottish Parliament’s EU Office in Brussels, laterally combining it with the role of Clerk to the Parliament’s European & External Relations Committee.
Cédric Dupont is Professor of Political Science and Director of Executive Education at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He is a specialist in the politics of international trade and international investment, and has worked extensively on regional economic integration processes in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. His recent work on the EU focuses on the role of the Commission and the Parliament during bilateral trade negotiations.
Frank Engel is a Member of the European Parliament from Luxembourg. He is Vice-President of the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China and a member of both the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect. Previously, driven by his long standing involvement in European and national politics, he joined Jacques Santer’s Cabinet at the European Parliament. From 2001 served as Secretary General of the Christian Social People’s Party parliamentary group until 2009, when he was elected for the first time an MEP.
*Please note that the biographies are updated until the day in which the event was held