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Speaker's abstracts


Peter Bossman was born in Ghana, where he finished his secondary education. In 1978 he obtained a scholarship to study medicine in what was then Yugoslavia. He graduated from medical school in Ljubljana, Slovenia. After his studies he got a job as a general practitioner in the Community of Piran, where in 1989 he pioneered a drug rehabilitation programme for drug addicts. This later evolved into a national programme for the whole of Slovenia. In 1996 he became active in local politics and became a member of the local Social Democratic party. In 1998 he was elected a member of the municipal council for a four year term. Later he was elected president of a district in his municipality. In 2010 he was elected on the ticket of the Social Democrats as candidate for the post of Mayor of the municipality of Piran. Throughout his professional and political life he has been closely engaged in social activities in his community, mainly working with young and disadvantaged people in society. He still works as a medical doctor.


Dr Sergio Carrera is Head of Section and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). His areas of expertise include justice and home affairs/citizenship, migration, asylum, borders and internal security. He has participated in several EU-research projects on migration and as an external expert on migration and mobility for various European institutions. He has a PhD in immigration and integration from the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University, where previously he obtained an LL.M on European, International and Comparative Law. Dr. Carrera has published widely on questions related to migration. His latest publication is Foreigners, Refugees
or Minorities? Rethinking People in the Context of Border Controls and Visas (with D. Bigo & E. Guild) Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Saddie CHOUA

Saddie Choua studied sociology in Brussels (VUB). She is a filmmaker and writer. Her film debut, My sister Zahra, 2006, is a 52 minutes documentary where Saddie tells the personal story of her sister Zahra who comes in conflict with her parents because she is lesbian. With her films she often puts the focus on hidden worlds. (The Combative Widows, 2007 about 3 Italian women who lost their husbands in the Marcinelle mine disaster in 1956, Zina & Mina Tales about 6 single women, 2008, The Chouas 2010, Being a Muslim Today 2011 and This is My Home Now 2012). Currently, she is working on a documentary about Pussy Riot. She writes columns, published several short stories and has won numerous prizes for her films and writings.


Philip Claeys has been a member of the European Parliament since 2003 and is currently engaged in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and as a member of the delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Born in Belgium, Philip Claeys graduated in 1988 with a degree in translation, going on to obtain a post-graduate qualification in marketing. He has been a member of the Vlaams Belang party executive since 1995; between 1995 and 1999 he was Chairman of the Vlaams Blok youth wing, after which he took on the role of Chief Editor of the Vlaams Blok magazine. From 1995 until 2003 he was Group Secretary of the Flemish Parliament, a period in which he was also a member of the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde district executive.

Elizabeth COLLETT

Elizabeth Collett is Director of the Migration Policy Institute Europe and Senior Advisor to MPI's Transatlantic Council on Migration. She is based in Brussels, and her work focuses in particular on European migration and immigrant integration policy. Her published works include Emerging Transatlantic Security Dilemmas in Border Management and Immigrant Integration in a Time of Austerity. Prior to joining MPI, Ms. Collett was a Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based think tank, and was responsible for its migration programme, which covered all aspects of European migration and integration policy. During her time at EPC she produced numerous working papers and policy briefs focusing on the future of European Union immigration policy. She has also worked in the Migration Research and Policy Department of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva and for the Institute for the Study of International Migration in Washington, DC. Ms. Collett holds a master's degree in Foreign Service (with distinction) from Georgetown University, where she specialised in foreign policy and earned a certificate in refugee and humanitarian studies, and a bachelor's degree in law from Oxford University.


Born in Bapaume in 1947, Jean-Paul Delevoye was elected President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council in November 2010. A former director in the food-processing industry, he became Town Councillor for Avesnes les Bapaume in 1974. In 1980 he was elected County Councillor for Pas-de-Calais, going on to become an MP and later senator for the department. Since 1982 he has been mayor of Bapaume, with important roles in the Association of French Mayors (AMF); first, in 1986, as a member of the Management Committee and President of the Finance Committee, and then as President of the Association, between 1992 and 2002. As a senator he also presided over the group for senator mayors, and has been President of the French federation of municipalities (la Communauté de Communes) since 1992. He has been in charge of various reports and studies, including a report on Social and Territorial Cohesion for the French Plan Commission in 1999. He also led a study group on the penal responsibility of public decision-makers in the Ministry of Justice. Minister for the Civil Service, State Reform and Territorial Planning from 2002 to 2004, he was notably engaged in the reform of the National School of Administration (ENA). More recently, he took on the role of Mediator of the French Republic, from 2004 until 2011.


Michael Diedring is the Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE). He is a lawyer and accomplished rule of law / international development professional whose life was transformed by a “short sabbatical” from law firm practice in the early 1990s to assist in legal reform in Central and Eastern Europe. He relocated to Europe in 1995 and over his career has worked in more than 60 countries. Michael was Executive Director of the CEELI Institute (Prague), Director General of the Baltic Management Institute (Vilnius), Country Representative for the Baltic-American Enterprise Fund (Vilnius), and Deputy Director of the International Bar Association (London) and ABA Central and East European Law Initiative (Washington, DC).

Philippe FARGUES

Philippe Fargues is a sociologist and demographer. He is currently the Director of the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute, the founding Director of the Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration (CARIM) and Director of the Migration Summer School. He has been Director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, a senior researcher at the French National Institute for Demographic Studies in Paris, a visiting professor at Harvard, and the Director of the Centre for Economic Legal and Social Studies (CEDEJ) in Cairo. His research interests include migration and refugee movements, population and politics in Muslim countries, family building, and demography and development. He has extensively published on these topics and lectured in a number of universities in Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East.


Claus Folden has headed the Operational Support Centre in the European Asylum Support Office in Malta since 2011. He had previously worked as a Senior International Adviser in the Kenyan Department of Refugee Affairs (Kenya, 2009–2011) and, before, as Chief Adviser in the Danish Immigration Service (Denmark, 2006-2009). He has a wide knowledge of various aspects of immigration, gained over the course of his extensive professional career, including working in the Danish Immigration Service and in the Royal Danish Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he worked as Immigration Attaché, as well as in the International Organisation for Migration in Austria and the Directorate for Aliens in Denmark.


Dr Corrado Giulietti is Director of Research at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn. His research interests include the determinants of migration, the labour market and welfare effects of internal and international migration, the assimilation of immigrants and the estimation of migration flows. His recent publications include “The Impact of Immigration on the Well-Being of Natives” (IZA Discussion Paper 6630) and “Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU” (IZA Discussion Paper 6075, forthcoming in the International Journal of Manpower). Dr Giulietti has participated in numerous IZA migration projects, including the “Study on Active Inclusion of Migrants”, funded by the European Commission, and “The Integration of Migrants and its Effects on the Labour Market”, funded by the European Parliament.


Emmanuelle Hauser Phelizon is a lawyer at the Paris Bar, specialising in penal law, foreign law and juvenile law. She is a founding member of the Association for the Defence of Foreigners (ADDE), former member of the Bureau of the Committee against Modern Slavery, and member of the Antenne des Mineurs at the Paris Bar. In 2008 she was elected to the Council of the Bar of Paris. Since 1/01/2012 she holds the position of the Delegate of the Chairman of the Paris Bar responsible for emergency defence on criminal and immigration law.


Shada Islam is Head of Policy at Friends of Europe, a leading independent think tank in Brussels. Shada is responsible for overseeing Friends of Europe’s activities, including publication of policy briefs, commentaries and op-eds, as well as the policy content of conferences, seminars and roundtable discussions. Before joining Friends of Europe, Shada worked as Senior Programme Executive at the European Policy Centre, where she dealt with issues related to Asia and the integration of minorities. Shada has worked in Brussels for 25 years, as EU, NATO and WTO correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asia’s leading weekly news magazine, and as chief EU correspondent for the English language section of the German News Agency, dpa. She is an experienced journalist, columnist, policy analyst and communication specialist, with a strong background in geopolitical, foreign, economic and trade policy as well as immigration and integration issues.


Luis Jimena Quesada is President of the European Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe. He is a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Valencia and since 1997 has been a substitute judge of the High Court of Justice of Valencia. He is a member of the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where he was Director of Studies and Professor from 1993 to the present. Luis has taught and lectured in various countries in Africa, Europe and America on topics concerning human rights, regional integration and legislative technique. In the research field, he has had numerous articles (in national and international journals) and books published, dealing with issues like human rights and social justice in Europe.


John Kellock is the Adviser on Fundamental Rights Issues and Policy based in the Directorate of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights located in Vienna. He is a former Head of Department at the Agency and Head of Unit at the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. Prior to that, he worked for Amnesty International. He has over 25 years’ experience on a broad range of human rights issues including work on migrants, minorities and integration; racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and anti-Semitism; equality, diversity and discrimination in the EU. At the Agency he was responsible, among other things, for setting up the Fundamental Rights Platform and Fundamental Rights Conferences, projects on Community Cohesion and Muslim communities and Media and Diversity. He is currently working on issues related to fundamental rights and Europe 2020, including the contribution of migrants to economic growth in the EU.


Nils Muižnieks was elected Commissioner for Human Rights on 24 January 2012 by the Parliamentary Assembly and took up his position on 1 April 2012. Born in 1964, Mr Muižnieks is a Latvian national educated in the United States of America, where he obtained a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California in Berkeley. He has been working in the field of human rights for the past two decades and has acquired extensive knowledge in the field of international human rights monitoring, training and education. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner for Human Rights, he held prominent posts such as Director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia in Riga (2005-2012); Chairman of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2010-2012); Latvian minister responsible for social integration, anti-discrimination, minority rights, and civil society development (2002-2004); and Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights and Ethnic Studies - now Latvian Human Rights Centre (1994-2002). He has also published extensively on human rights issues, in particular on racism, discrimination and minority rights. Latvian and English are his mother tongues, and he is also fluent in French and Russian.


Staffan Nilsson is President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU’s only non-political advisory body. He is a tireless advocate of sustainable policies for growth and jobs. He believes sustainable growth is the best way of financing a social model serving the common good of all Europeans, and of defending our values internationally. “Engaging people for a sustainable Europe” is Staffan Nilsson’s political message for his term of office. Since 1995, when he became a member of the EESC, he has actively brought his expertise to bear on the work of the EESC, mainly in the fields of agriculture, sustainable development and international cooperation. Staffan coordinated the EESC’s work on the Lisbon Strategy and later on the Europe 2020 strategy.


Luis Miguel Pariza Castaños has an M.A. degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Deusto (Spain). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Trade Union Confederation of Workers' Commissions (CCOO) – the most representative trade union confederation in Spain. He has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since 1998, in the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, and chairs the permanent study group on Immigration and Integration. He has been rapporteur of several EESC opinions on European immigration and integration policy. He is also co-chair, together with the European Commission, of the European Integration Forum.


Yves Pascouau is Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC), and is responsible for the European Migration and Diversity Programme. He has researched and published widely on European and national immigration, asylum and integration policies. His current work is mainly dedicated to EU development in the field of immigration, asylum and integration. Prior to joining the EPC, he worked as researcher in France and at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He holds a PhD in Law from Pau University in France.


Diane Schmitt is Head of the Immigration and Integration Unit in the European Commission. Her unit contributes to the further development and implementation of a common policy on immigration to ensure the better management of migration flows, including policies on legal migration and strengthened support for the integration of legally resident migrants within a European framework. Her Unit is also responsible for the coordination of the European Migration Network (EMN). She joined the Commission in 1992 and has worked in different areas.

Melek USTA

Melek Usta is a self-made woman who started working at an early age. After her management studies, she began her career in the HR department of a printing company and in 1995 she moved into the temporary employment sector, working for Start Employment Agency, where her career really took off. At 29 she was Area Manager, responsible for several branches and an eight million euro turnover. In 2000, deciding to set up business for herself, she created Colourful People. Colourful People is a prominent agency in the Netherlands in the field of Diversity Management and aims at filling (top) positions both within government and the business world. It also counsels directors and managers in formulating and implementing diversity strategy and cooperates closely with universities. Melek Usta also holds various other positions in several academic and governmental networks, boards and platforms. She was named Black Businesswoman of the Year 2006.


Peter Verhaeghe represents the EU Civil Society organisations in the Bureau of the European Integration Forum. He is head of the policy and advocacy unit of Caritas Europa in Brussels. He has been active in the migration and asylum field for 25 years, having worked in a Belgian reception centre for asylum seekers, and as project officer and later policy and advocacy officer at Caritas Belgium. He holds a bachelor's degree in social work and a master's degree in sociology.