Speakers

Oliver Röpke,
President of the EESC

Oliver Röpke was elected President of the EESC in April 2023. Member of the EESC since 2009, Mr Röpke was president of the EESC's Workers' Group, member of the EESC Bureau, and rapПовече

Oliver Röpke was elected President of the EESC in April 2023. Member of the EESC since 2009, Mr Röpke was president of the EESC's Workers' Group, member of the EESC Bureau, and rapporteur of many EESC resolutions and opinions on employment and social policy, the single market and innovation. Mr Röpke headed the Brussels office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and took on several senior positions, including representative of ÖGB to the EU institutions and to the executive committee of the ETUC, and advisory member of the ÖGB federal executive board. Mr Röpke has a legal background and holds a law degree from the University of Vienna.

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Aurel Laurenţiu Plosceanu, EESC Vice-President in charge of Communication


Aurel Laurenţiu Plosceanu has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and its Employers' Group since 2007. Mr Plosceanu has been involved in activities across allПовече


Aurel Laurenţiu Plosceanu has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and its Employers' Group since 2007. Mr Plosceanu has been involved in activities across all sections of the EESC. Prior to his appointment as Vice-President for Communication, he served as President of the EESC Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC), EU Chair of the EU-Serbia Joint Consultative Committee (2020-2023) and President of the Audit Committee from 2015-2017.

In his native Romania, Mr Plosceanu has been Vice-President of UGIR (the Romanian Industrialists General Union) since 2016 and President of ARACO (the Romanian Association of Building Contractors), which is a member of FIEC (the European Federation of Construction Industries) since 2007.

Other past professional experiences include the position of CEO at ABC Asigurari Reasigurari SA from 2000 to 2007, President of the Social House of Building Workers from 1999 to 2016, member of the Board of the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest and member of the Romanian Economic and Social Council (both from 2007 to 2011), President of the Romanian Association of SMEs in Insurance from 2005 to 2007 and Co-President of the Romanian Alliance of Employers' Confederations from 2007 to 2013. 

Mr Plosceanu studied at the Bucharest Construction Institute and obtained an Executive MBA from the National Institute for Economic Development. In addition, he studied at the Law Faculty of Nicolae Titulescu University Bucharest and completed post-university studies at the National Defence College.

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Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot,
Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+

Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot is Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. She is in charge of European coopПовече

Sophia Eriksson Waterschoot is Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ at the European Commission's Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. She is in charge of European cooperation on higher education, schools and youth policy, managing Europe's flagship programme for education, training, youth and sport Erasmus+ with a budget over EUR 26 billion 2021-2027. She launched and manages the European Solidarity Corps, an EU youth volunteering programme, and coordinated the 2022 European Year of Youth.

She launched flagship actions under the European Education Area and the EU Youth Strategy, such as European Universities, Teacher Academies and DiscoverEU. She has previously held various positions within the European Commission in the field of strategy and investment in education and training, employment and social policy, European Semester, European cohesion funds, European Social Fund, cultural policy and statistics. She studied economics, international business, political science and EU affairs, in Sweden, France and Belgium, including an Erasmus student exchange. She is an Eisenhower Fellow. Twitter: @sophiabrussels

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Alice Stollmeyer, Founder & Executive Director of Defend Democracy

Alice Stollmeyer is the Founder & Executive Director of Defend Democracy, a nonpartisan NGO defending democracy from foreign, domestic and technological threats. Alice has a background in sociaПовече

Alice Stollmeyer is the Founder & Executive Director of Defend Democracy, a nonpartisan NGO defending democracy from foreign, domestic and technological threats. Alice has a background in social studies of science, technology and society. A former energy policy adviser and digital strategist, she now works on democracy, sharp power (aka hybrid threats) and technology. Alice has lived and worked in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels, and increasingly travels across Europe and beyond for her work. She is in Politico's #Power40 top influencers who are most effectively setting the agenda in politics, public policy & advocacy in Brussels.

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Davide Ferrari,
Head of Research & partner - EUmatrix

Davide Ferrari (Head of Research & partner - EUmatrix) has a background in cognitive sciences and European public affairs and graduated top of his class at the specialised Master program aПовече

Davide Ferrari (Head of Research & partner - EUmatrix) has a background in cognitive sciences and European public affairs and graduated top of his class at the specialised Master program at the Maastricht University. Davide coordinates qualitative and quantitative research related to EU decisions and international developments. He enjoys exploring the intricacies of socio-political and inter-cultural interactions and is passionate with data and stats from all spheres of life. Having lived in several European countries, he speaks Italian, English and some French. davide.ferrari@eumatrix.eu.

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