Rodrigo Ballester is a law graduate from the San Pablo University in Madrid and holds a Master in European Law (LL.M) from the College of Europe. He started his career as an academic assistant in the College of Europe for two years before moving into the private practice as a lawyer in the American law firm Latham and Watkins. He then moved to the European Parliament where he worked as an adviser for the Spanish Delegation of the European People’s Party (Partido Popular) in the field of Legal Affairs, Internal Market and Home Affairs. In 2008, he joined the European Commission, first in DG Justice, and as from 2011, in DG Home Affairs where he was in charge of the external dimension of the EU’s migration policy in Morocco and Sub Saharan Africa. He is as from November 2014 a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Navracsics. He is in charge of primary and secondary education and follows with a specific interest the role of education to counter violent radicalisation. Since 2010, he is an invited professor in the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. He is fluent in Spanish, French and English and has a good command of German and Italian.
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
Heinz K. Becker
Heinz K. Becker has been a member of the European Parliament since 2011 in representation of the Austrian party Österreichische Volkspartei. He is member of the committees for “civil liberties, justice and home affairs” and “petitions” as well as vice member of the committee for “employment and social affairs”. In addition, he is co-chair of the parliamentary Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity and Vice President of the Parliamentary Interest Group on Carers. He is also Vice President of the European Seniors’ Union (ESU), member
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, 30, European Federalist, is one of the youngest MEPs and is from La Spezia, Italy. He has been chair of European affairs for the Young Democrats and Vice-President of ECOSY (youth organization of PES) for 4 years and was part of the PES working group which originally drafted the European Youth Guarantee. His main fields of legislative work in the EP are Employment and social affairs and Foreign affairs. He is co-chair of the Youth Intergroup and vice-chair of the Disability Intergroup. Among his parliamentary activities in the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs, he was responsible for key legislative and non-legislative reports on the social inclusion and integration of refugees into the EU labour market; youth employment policy such as the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative; digitalisation and rights of persons with disability.
Nathalie Berger took her present position as Head of Unit, Insurance and Pensions at European Commission in 2015. Previously, she was responsible for leading the reform of the statutory audit legislative framework in the EU and the cooperation with third countries on audit oversight, as well as for the credit rating agencies legislative framework. After joining the European Commission in September 2000, she worked on the modernization of the financial markets legislation and was later seconded to the Commission Task Force on the Future of the Union, taking part in the work of the European Convention and the Intergovernmental Conference. She started her career as an academic and public speaker, working in parallel as a consultant in European Affairs for the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and also spending six months as Legal Advisor for the Bertelsmann Liaison Office in Brussels.
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 Bollon is the chief executive of AFG, the French asset managers trade association. He is a board member of EFAMA, vice-Chairman of Pensions Europe, secretary general of the European Savings Institute and vice-Chairman of ORSE, the French Study Center for Corporate Social Responsibility and vice chairman of Pensions Europe. AFG members manage 3600 Billion euros on behalf of institutional and private investors, both through mandates and through investment / mutual funds, making the French asset management industry a leader in Europe. Institutional clients of AFG members include French and foreign pension funds and insurers. AFG members manage PERCOs, the 401K-like French occupational DC schemes that cover 2.2 Million employees working in 210 000 companies.
Pascale-Marie Brien is currently in charge of payment issues at the European Banking Federation in Brussels. Her previous assignments include the representation of French Banks on payments and retail banking issues within the French Banking Federation and the management of Fidelis, a consulting company specialised in European and Payments issues. She was previously Head of the European and Legal Affairs Department of Europay International (now MasterCard).
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 (Greens/EFA) and the Co-Chair of the European Green Party (EGP). He sits in the Committee of Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), is the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China, a member of the Delegation to the United States as well as a substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). Since October 2016 he is a board member of the Green European Foundation (GEF).
Clément Chandon is responsible for gas business development at Iveco and has been promoting sustainable and cost-efficient heavy-duty trucks in Europe, Africa & Middle-Est. Between 2013 and 2014 he was product & marketing manager at IVECO France, while between 2008 and 2013 he was product manager. Clement Chardon has a passion for technology and environmentally-friendly vehicles which has allowed him to deal with a range of related subjects, from purely technical matters to fully commercial activities. Along his career he has also been involved in training, external relations and communication management.
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.
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.
Bernard Delbecque is Senior Director for Economics and Research at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA). Bernard has been a member of ESMA’s Group of Economic Advisers since September 2014 and a member and Vice-Chair of EIOPA’s Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group since March 2016. As part of his responsibilities at EFAMA, Bernard is in charge of developing EFAMA’s position on pension issues, in cooperation with EFAMA members. In this context, he has participated closely in the discussions in the field of pensions for more than fifteen years, including with regard to the IORP Directive. He has also played a leading role in the development of EFAMA’s proposal to create an EU-Single Market for personal pensions, and the publication of two reports on this subject, in 2013 and 2015: “The OCERP: a Proposal for a European Personal Pension Product” and “Towards a Single Market for European Personal Pensions: Building Blocks for an EU legislation”. Prior to joining EFAMA, Bernard was a policy advisor of the Belgian Minister of Finance and previously he worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Bernard holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and he also teaches economics courses at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.
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.
Gaetano De Salvo
Gaetano De Salvo is the Counsellor responsible for free circulation of goods and services and IPRs in the “Internal Market and IPR Unit” at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU. He has this far negotiated several legislative files regarding both industrial property and copyright, held the position of Team Leader for the trilogues on the trademarks package during the Italian Presidency of the Council and served as Chair of the Competitiveness and Growth Working Group of the Council. Previously, Gaetano De Salvo was Head of Unit in the department of EU Affairs of the Italian government for which he dealt with economic issues in the remit of both the General Affairs Council and the European Council.
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.
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.
A member of both the Christian Social Union in Bavaria and the Bureau of the European People’s Party, Markus Ferber is currently vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in which he has been serving since 2009. He is also a member of the Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion and a substitute member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism.
Patrick Gagnol has been working for ten years at the Electric Mobility Division of EDF. He is currently the coordinator of the European TEN-T and CEF projects Corri-Door and UNIT-E aiming at deploying interoperable multi-standard fast charging stations and eMobility services in Europe. He is part of the board of the European eMi3 initiative promoting interoperable eMobility. Previously involved in several eMobility projects with Toyota for testing a fleet of pre-market PHEV Prius, SAVE with Renault, he had been the leader of the French German CROME project demonstrating innovative interoperable public EV 22 kW infrastructures and eMobility between in Germany and in France
Luis Arturo Hernández
Since 2013 Luis Arturo Hernández has worked at E.ON as an internal Technical Consultant in the area of smart cities and energy system optimization. Luis Arturo Hernández is currently a leader of the Interflex project, along with being an Advisory Board Member of the US National Energy Lab project “NODES, as well as innovation Team Leader in the decentralised energy systems area.
Matthias Hönisch is Head of Cards Business Unit at the National Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR), board member of the EPC ECSG. In the German Banking Industry, he is jointly responsible for the girocard system. Prior to his current position, he was responsible at PayPal International for payments and cards with a focus on Central Europe.
Since April 2015 Valentina Infante has been Head of Small Scale LNG Business, a new department of Edison Gas Midstream, and she is in charge of the development of the new business opportunity related to LNG as alternative fuel in maritime and road transport. She has been working for Edison since 1997 holding many different positions within the group and participating to the development of the new rules for the gas market deregulation . From 2008 to 2013, she was General Manager and member of the board of the group gas storage company Edison Stoccaggio S.p.A. and member of the Gas monitoring and Emergency National Committee. Soon after, she was seconded in South Stream Transport BV as Head of Business Management, SSTTBV was the project company owned by Gazprom, ENI, Wintershall and EDF in charge of the realization of the south stream off-shore pipeline. Valentina holds a degree in Engineering and a master in Economics and Management of energy and environment.
*Please note that the biographies are updated until the day in which the event was held