Michal Feix is the Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs at Seznam.cz and the Chairman of the board of SPIR, a profession association of companies and agencies working in the area of internet advertising. While holding various top-level posts at Seznam.cz, he had been Advisor to both the Minister in ICT and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. Michal Feix has a background as a web developer and holds a Master Degree in ICT from the Czech Technical University, as well as an MBA from the University of Economics based in Prague.
Elena Flores was appointed Director for Policy Strategy and Coordination in DG ECFIN in 2011. Previously, she was Director, Economies of Member States II (from 2007) and head of the unit for Public finance in the euro area and the EU (from 2002) and for financial markets 1997-1999. From 1999-2002, Ms. Flores served as Advisor in Commissioner Solbes’ office, responsible for economic policies, employment, taxation and financial issues.
Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz
Philippe de Fontaine Vive was senior Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from 2003 to 2015. He was responsible for operations in France and the Mediterranean partner countries, innovation and corporate social responsibility. He also chaired the EIB Institute’s Supervisory Board. During his term of office, he was successively in charge of financial operations, SME financing in Europe and external communication. He began his career at the French Treasury Department, where he was successively responsible for banks, insurance, transport and urban planning, debt, the development of emerging markets, State holdings and the financing of the State and the economy. He has also been an alternate Director at the World Bank in Washington, International Affairs Adviser to the Minister of the Economy and Finance and Vice-President of the Paris Club.
Roland Freudenstein is the Head of Research and Deputy Director of the Brussels based Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the political foundation and official think tank of the European People’s Party. He was the Director of the Warsaw office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and held a leading function in the Foundation’s Office in Berlin. Mr Freudenstein also represented the German city state of Hamburg to the European Union. He has contributed to debates and published extensively on European integration, international security, German-Polish relations and global democracy.
Evelyne Gebhardt has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1994. She is a member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and of the Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China. She is also a substitute member for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula. Since 1992, Evelyne Gebhardt has been Chair of the Working Group of Social-Democratic Women.and in 1999, she was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.
Julie Girling is a British Conservative politician who has served as an MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar since 2009. She is currently the Coordinator for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and is an active member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, as well as the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee. Julie is also a member of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector and sits on the Delegation for relations with South East Asia. Julie held the post of Chief Whip of the Conservatives in the European Parliament and prior to becoming an MEP, she was a leading member of the Cotswold District Council, as well as Cabinet member for the Environment in the Gloucestershire County Council. During her time in the European Parliament, Julie has worked on a number of important legislative files covering areas such as air quality, food safety, reform of the Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies, biodiversity, chemicals and animal welfare.
Jean Luc Gal
Jean-Luc Gal has been seconded to the European Commission by the European Patent Office as of April 2013 onwards and he is in charge of some patent-related issues within the Industrial Property Unit. Previously, Jean-Luc had also been acting as the Head of the Liaison Office of the European Patent Office in Brussels. Over the period 2000-2004, he was a national expert seconded by the French National Office of Industrial Property to the European Union, as well as to the French Permanent Representation in Brussels. Jean-Luc Gal has written several articles on various issues such as patents, computer-implemented inventions and legal protection of biotechnological inventions.
Paulo Gouveia is Director of General Affairs at Copa-Cogeca since 2007 and has been a sherpa member at the High Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain He is responsible for the coordination of horizontal policies at Copa-Cogeca with special regard to co-operatives, agribusinesses and the food chain. He has more than 25 years experience working for farmer and cooperative organisations in Portugal and in other EU member states. He has specialised in agro-economics, institutional capacity building and institutional development of agricultural organisations. Paulo Gouveia is a graduate of the Instituto Superior de Agronomia of the University of Lisbon in Portugal.
Jörgen Gren is a member of the Cabinet of Vice President Ansip. He recently worked as Head of Unit dealing with Digital Agenda and single market-related policies in DG CONNECT. He was also Deputy Head of Unit in the same directorate and he negotiated the financial framework for the Connecting Europe Facility on broadband and digital services. Previously, Jörgen Gren served as Head of the Press/Media Unit for the 2009 Swedish presidency and was a member of the Cabinet of Ms Hübner, Polish Commissioner for Regional Policy.
Else Groen is the Director General of Independent Retail Europe and the co-chair for the retail sector of the Supply Chain Initiative, a voluntary stakeholder initiative for better B2B relations in the food supply chain. Previously, she was the Secretary General of FEACO, the European Association of Management Consultancy Companies. Before starting as a Manager, she worked for Coopers and Lybrand Europe within the team of the Euro Info Centre Project, the European Commission’s network for the information of SMEs. She started her career as a Public Affairs Adviser in the Belmont Community law firm and holds a Masters degree in Business Law from the University of Leiden.
Hilde Hardeman is Deputy Head of Cabinet to European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. She is in charge of the Cabinet’s daily coordination, and follows in particular issues related to employment, social dialogue and better regulation. From 2011 until September 2014, she served as Head of the President’s Briefings Unit at the European Commission. From 1994, when she joined the European Commission, until 2010, she dealt with the EU’s Eastern neighbours. From 2008 to 2010 she was Head of the Unit for Relations with Russia and the Northern Dimension Policy at the Commission’s Directorate-General External Relations, and from 2005 to 2008 of its Unit for Relations with Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. In that capacity, she played a central role in the negotiations on the new EU – Russia Agreement and the EU – Ukraine association agreement, as well as in the setting up of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM). Between 2000 and 2003 she coordinated the preparation of the Commission’s Regular Reports on the then candidate countries at the European Commission’s Directorate-General Enlargement.
Daniel Hannan is a British politician for the Conservative Party. He studied modern history at Oxford University. Since 1999, he has been a member of the European Parliament, first in the European People’s Party–European Democrats, and later in the European Conservatives and Reformists. In addition to his political work he is also well known for his work as a writer and journalist. He has received different prices for his blogs (the Bastiat Prize in 2009 and the Orwell Prize in 2011), as well as the Political Books Awards for his book How We Invented Freedom and Why it Matters. He speaks fluent English, French and Spanish.
Rebecca Harms is a politician from Germany and a Member of the European Parliament for Alliance ’90/The Greens since 1998. In the 2009-2014 institutional term, she was a Member of the Conference of the President, as well as of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. Following her very recent re-election, Mrs Harms has been co-president of the The Greens–European Free Alliance Group from 2009. At the end of the institutional term, she was also nominated for one of the two top candidate posts by Alliance 90/The Greens for the 2014 European consultations.
Graduated from Karlsruhe University, Sebastian Herkel is working at Fraunhofe ISE since 1992 – currently as head of Solar Building Department. His major research fields are energy efficient buildings and construction for non-residential buildings, residential buildings and energy supply concepts on district level, heat pump technologies and optimization of building operation including fault detection. He is leading various research projects on the National and European level and is Member of different working groups of the Solar Heating and Cooling Implementing agreement of the International Energy Agency – current in Task 44 Solar Heat Pumps.
Thomas Heynisch is Deputy Head of Unit in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, dealing with EU policies related to food, healthcare industries and biotechnology. He joined the Commission in 2000, when he was responsible for sustainable resources in DG ENVI and moved to DG Enterprise in 2002 in the unit dealing with competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnologies. Previously, Thomas Heynisch worked as a military physician and as a European affairs specialist at the German Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers. He obtained a degree in Medicine and Economics from the University of Cologne and a Doctorate in Health Economics from the Heinrich Heine University.
Szabolcs Horváth is a member of the Cabinet of Tibor Navracsics European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Between 2004 and 2014, he held various positions within the European Commission. More recently, he was a Policy Officer at DG Competition where he focused on cartel and merger cases and also served in the Horizontal Strategy Unit. Szabolcs Horváth holds a university degree in law from ELTE University (Hungary) and in economics from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences.
Hiddo Houben is Head of Unit of the USA and Canada in DG Trade and deputy Chief Negotiator for the TTIP. He heads the Unit responsible for relations with the US and Canada in DG Trade. Mr Houben joined the European Commission in 1989 and his work has focused on efforts to address the challenges of European integration, globalisation, and international trade negotiations. He participated in the global trade negotiations of the Uruguay Round, which notably created the World Trade Organisation in 1995. After this experience, he was part of the EU teams negotiating China and then Russia’s terms of entry to the WTO. In 2004 Mr Houben joined European Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s cabinet and later he was part of Baroness Ashton’s Office. During this period he was also involved in the EU’s legislative work to restore financial markets and to address Europe’s energy challenge. In 2009, Mr Houben was posted in the EU embassy in Washington DC, where he was Head of the economic office.
Andrew Hotchkiss is President of Lilly’s pharmaceutical operations across Europe and Canada. He is Chair of the European Markets Committee of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and sits in the EFPIA’s Patient Access Committee. Andrew joined Lilly in 1985 as a Sales Representative in the UK. Over a career spanning 29 years, Mr Hotchkiss has held many senior leadership positions within sales and marketing operations and strategic planning, including General Manager positions in Italy and the UK. Prior to his current role, Andrew was Lilly Vice President, International, Oncology.
Richard Stuart Howitt
Richard Stuart Howitt is a Member of the European Parliament for the Labour Party for the East of England. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 1994. Richard Howitt held several position within the EU Parliament, he was Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Regional Policy from 1997 to 1999, Co-Chairman of the Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade, ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly from 2002 to 2004, First Vice-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights from 2004 to 2009 and he is currently the European Parliament representative in the European Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility.
Danuta Maria Hubner
Danuta Maria Hubner is a Polish economist and politician of the European People Party (EPP), Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and member of Conference of Committee Chairs, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect as well as of the Delegation for relations with the United States. Danuta Hübner has played a key role in the enlargement of the EU and became the first Polish member of the European Commission in charge of the EU Regional Policy. Previously, her activities as a politician in Poland included, among others, the roles of Minister for European Affairs, Head of Office of the Committee for European Integration , Secretary of State for Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade.
Marco Incerti is Head of Communication & Research fellow at the Centre for European Studies and is a member of the European Association of Communication Directors. He is author of several publications concerning the European Union and a guest speaker at the Club of Venice (a network of EU28 Institutional Communicators). Marco Incerti is also a member of the US Department International Visitors programme.
Benedek Javor is an Hungarian politician and a Member of the European Parliament for Dialogue for Hungary. He is first vice-chair of the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and is a substitute member in the Committee of Industry, Research and Energy. In the 2010 general elections, he won a seat in the Hungarian National Assembly and was Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee for most of his mandate. He is also a founding member of the environmental NGO “Protect the Future!”. He is the author of several articles and publications on environmental issues, energy security and different forms of energy dependency. Benedek Javor holds a PhD in Biology from the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest.
Bertrand Jéhanno is, since 1st July 2011, Head of Unit MICA (Internal Market, Competition, State Aids) at the General Secretariat for European Affairs SGAE – Prime Minister Services. In this position, he is responsible for the coordination of the French ministries on items relating to the free movement of services and goods, consumer affairs, competition, State aids and weapons. Before, he was Head of Unit at the Direction Départementale de la Protection des Populations des Bouches-du-Rhône dealing with consumer and competition matters in real estate, banking, transport, electronic communication services, tourism, public procurement. From 2004 to 2008 Mr. Jéhanno joined the Directorate for Information, Communication and Media at DG Competition as Case handler dealing with merger control and as Head of inspection team, after he had been Case handler at the French Competition, Consumer affairs and Fraud Control DGCCRF, Merger and State aid office. From 1997 to 2001 Bertrand Jéhanno worked at the National Directorate for Competition Investigation as Case handler.
For the past 15 years, Jens-HenrikJeppesen, has been engaged in European and international public policy, focusing on digital economy and technology policy. He began his European affairs career as a trainee at the US Desk of the European Commission’s Directorate General for trade and external affairs. He also worked for the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, managing staff support to the Telecommunications Subcommittee and to the European-American Industrial Council. He later headed the Technology, Media and Telecoms Practice of a leading European Public Affairs consultancy, Adamson BSMG Worldwide. Before joining Dell in 2007, Jens managed Intel’s EU Affairs team. He and his team drove Intel’s corporate and technology policy agenda, including data protection, cybersecurity, telecommunications and spectrum regulation, copyright and digital rights management, patents and standards policy and regulation. Jens personally led Intel’s European policy work on digital content, copyright and DRM. He managed several engagements between Intel executives, and European Commissioners and Member State governments.
Clemens Kerle is case-handler in the State aid policy unit at the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission. He joined DG Competition’s unit for State aid coordination in October 2007. Between May 2011 and July 2012 he worked as an officer for State aid in the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Upon his return to DG Competition, he joined the Task Force Financial Crisis, and assumed his current role in March 2013. Prior to working in State aid control, Mr Kerle taught European Union Law at the University of Linz, Austria. He holds a doctorate in EU Law from the University of Innsbruck where he discussed his thesis on the acquisition of recipients of incompatible State aid and an LL.M. from the University of Toronto.
Timothy John Robert Kirkhope is a British lawyer and politician currently serving as Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber for the Conservative Party. After serving for ten yearsas Member of Parliament for Leeds North East, he was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999. Between December 2004 and November 2010 he was leader of the Conservative delegation for a total of six years. Timothy Kirkhope is co-ordinator and spokesman for the ECR in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament. He is also a member of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States and a substitute member of the Transport Committee. During his Westminster career he was Parliamentary Private Secretary, Whip and then Minister at the Home Office for, among others, Immigration and Borders between 1995 and 1997.
Brigide Kisters is First Secretary and Transport Attaché at the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European Union and is responsible for traffic and infrastructure-related matters. Previously, she worked as a Senior Policy Officer for infrastructures at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands. In this capacity, she was involved in several transport-related projects and she provided guidance and advice to decision-making authorities in the domain of regulatory modernisation, as well. Brigide Kister was also Senior Adviser for European Affairs at the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management. She started her career as a civil servant at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 1991 after having obtained a “Doctoraal” in Administrative Studies with a specialisation in International Relations and Management & Planning from the University of Twente.
Dina Köpke, Director Governmental Affairs Emerson Climate Technologies GmbH, is responsible for regulatory affairs at the European level and represents the company in the European industry associations. Her main focus is with EPEE (vice chair Ecodesign Working Group), ASERCOM (Marketing and communications WG, Refrigerants WG, Steering Committee) and EHPA (Member of the Board, Treasurer, Manufacturers’ committee and Advocacy and communications committee). She closely follows mainly European legislation approaches and delivers expertise and guidance to colleagues and industry partners. She holds a degree in industrial engineering and an MBA from INSEAD. She has been with Emerson since 1999 in various positions and countries in logistics, project and plant management, and product marketing.
Cleopatra Kitti is an entrepreneur, co-founder and Chairman of LITUS SA, Brussels’ first investor and policy advisory for the Mediterranean region. Ms. Kitti has more than 25 years of experience in advising governments and multinationals on leadership, governance and reputation, market entry and crisis management across markets and sectors in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2015, Ms. Kitti has founded the Mediterranean Growth Initiative a stakeholder platform supporting institutional and private sector thinking and doing around the Mediterranean. Ms. Kitti is a member of the international advisory board of the International Crisis Group, member of the International Arab Women’s Forum.
Since 1995 Martin Kröger has worked as European civil servant in the European Commission. He currently holds the position of head of the ‘Transparency’ unit in the Secretariat-General operating under the authority of the President of the European Commission. The unit is responsible for the coordination, implementation and further development of the Commission’s overall transparency policy. During his European career Martin Kröger worked on a broad range of assignments related to the governance structure of the European Commission. In particular, he was in charge of designing the Commission’s ‘Transparency Initiative’ – under the Barroso I Commission – and the development of standards for the consultation of stakeholders which are a key component of the Commission’s ‘smart regulation’ tool box. Martin Kröger started his career in the German Ministry for the Environment dealing with international legal affairs.
Philippe Lamberts is a Belgian MEP who has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009. He is currently a member Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as well of the Conference of Presidents. Between 1999 and 2003, he had been an Adviser of the Vice-Prime Minister Isabelle Durant on Foreign Affairs and Defence-related issues. Mr Lamberts was the co-spokesperson of the European Green Party between 2006 and 2012. He graduated as an engineer at the Université catholique de Louvain in 1986. From 1987 to 2009 he worked at IBM, among other positions, as a manager.
Marju Lauristin is an Estonian Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Group of Socialists and Democrats. She has an academic career in social sciences and has been Professor at Tartu University since 1995. Ms Lauristin’s political career started in 1988 as one of the establishing members of ‘Rahvarinne’, the first large-scale independent political movement in Estonia since the beginning of the Soviet occupation. She has thereafter been Chairman of the Estonian Social Democratic Party, deputy Speaker of the Estonian Parliament, Minister of Social Affairs of Estonia, and Member of the Estonian Parliament. Currently she is an active Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee at the European Parliament.
Gianpiero Lotito is the founder, together with Mariuccia Teroni, of FacilityLive, a startup that is launching on the international market a next generation search engine. FacilityLive was founded in 2010 and owns patents in 43 countries including in the USA, Europe, Japan and Israel. Gianpiero Lotito is a technologist who has been working for over twenty years on innovative projects in the publishing world and on technologies applied to content. He taught Multimedia Publishing at the University of Milan and wrote books and articles on technology for major Italian editors like Bruno Mondadori and Kataweb.
Astrid Lulling is a MEP from Luxembourg and a Member of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, the Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America and the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly. She has also been President of the Intergroup “Wine–Tradition– Quality” of the European Parliament since October 1999. She is a Substitute member in the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee and in the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Elected for the first time in the European Parliament in 1965, she has been a MEP since 1989. Astrid Lulling was also President of the National Council of Luxembourg Women, President of the Committee of Female Work of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, as well as President of the European Centre of the International Women’s Council.
*Please note that the biographies are updated until the day in which the event was held