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Speakers Opening Session

Workshop sessions - Integation and Inclusion

Speakers Workshop 1: Youth and education

Speakers Workshop 2: Social integration and the role of CSOs

Speakers Workshop 3: Responses to the causes of migration

Day 2

Speakers Workshop 4 - Freedom of expression

Speakers Workshop 5 - Freedom of movement

Speakers Workshop 6 - Living together... or in parallel societies?

Closing session


Opening Session

Georges Dassis, EESC President

Georges Dassis first joined the European Economic and Social Committee in 1981; he was elected President of the Workers' Group in 2008.

Prior to that, he was President of the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion of the EESC. In 1982, he became a member of the Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). Since 1981, he represents the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) at the ETUC, the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Labour Office. He is a founding member of the Labour Institute of the GSEE and Secretary for International Relations.

On October 2015, Georges Dassis was elected President of the EESC.

Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan

Prof. Gesine Schwan, born in Berlin in 1943, is a political scientist. She studied Romance languages, history, philosophy and politics in Berlin and Freiburg im Breisgau, with study visits to Warsaw and Kraków.

She is president of the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform, and since 2014 has been chair of the Fundamental Values Commission of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Prof. Schwan was previously, among other things, president of Viadrina European University in Frankfurt an der Oder (1999-2008), and the German government's coordinator for German-Polish cooperation (2004 and 2009).

Prof. Schwan stood as a candidate in the German presidential elections in 2004 (for the SPD and Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN) and in 2009 (for the SPD).

Cécile Kyenge

Cécile Kyenge was born in Kambove (Haut-Katanga District) in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August 28th 1964.

In 1983, she arrived in Italy where she graduated in medicine and surgery at the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore in Rome.

In 2013 she was elected member of the Chamber of Deputies for the PD, becoming Minister for Integration in Letta's government in April 2013.

In May 2014 she was elected Member of European Parliament where she is member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Culture and Education Committee and vice-Chair of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Since October 2014 she is member of the Global Agenda Council on Migration of the World Economic Forum

She is currently the co-rapporteur for the European Parliament on the strategic initiative report on “Situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration”

Emmanuelle Grange

Emmanuelle Grange joined the European Commission in 1995. She has been in charge of the unit responsible for the internal policy for Equal opportunities and non-discrimination within the Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security. She was later appointed responsible for the strategy and management of human resources at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. She became the Head of Disability and Inclusion Unit on 1 November 2015.

Emmanuelle studied Political Science in Strasbourg and holds an MA in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe.

Conny Reuter

Conny Reuter has been Secretary General of SOLIDAR since October 2006.

He is also a co-founder and Board member of Social Service Europe (SSE) since 2012 and is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Workers Education Associations (IFWEA) since 2008.

Before moving to Brussels, Conny worked in Paris and Berlin heading the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) Department for School and Youth Exchanges (1998-2006), working at La Ligue de l’enseignement in Paris on European projects (1990-1998) and heading the liaison office of La Ligue in Germany working on Franco-German youth exchanges in professional and vocational training (1985-1990).

From April 2008 to April 2013 he served as President of the Social Platform, the platform of European Social NGOs.

He has extended experience in NGO networking, managing EU and international projects and events.  He is specialized in social policies, education and global justice issues.

Monika Hoegen

Born 1963 in Cologne, Germany, Monika Hoegen is a journalist, moderator, media and communication trainer and consultant, specialized on development cooperation, poverty alleviation, aid and trade, fair trade, EU development policies, global sustainability and international environment policies.

Monika Hoegen has been travelling to and worked in many developing countries in Africa, South East Asia and Latin America. She reports for major German newspapers and radio stations, such as Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandfunk, WDR amongst others.

As a moderator and media trainer/consultant she works for German and international development institutions and NGOs, such as the German International Cooperation GIZ, the Ministry for Development in Germany, BMZ, the protestant development service, eed, Fairtrade International, various UN organisations, OSCE, EuropeAid/DevCo and various other organisations in Brussels as well as for private companies and enterprises.

Monika Hoegen works in German, English, French and Spanish.

Workshop sessions - Integation and Inclusion


Christa Schweng

Christa Schweng has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (Employers' Group, Austria) since 1998.

She is currently vice-president of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC). In the EESC she represents the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, where she has worked as senior advisor in the Social Policy Department since 1994. She has recently been rapporteur of an exploratory EESC opinion on 'Integration of refugees".

Her other positions include: member of the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work, member of the Bureau and Governing Board of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (Bilbao) since 1994, as well as member of the Social Affairs Committee of the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME).

Christa Schweng holds a Masters in Legal Studies from the University of Vienna.


Workshop 1: Youth and education

Marguerite Potard

As a director for External Relations and Funding, has been working for the European Region of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) since 2012. She hold several positions in WOSM from supporting the fundraising of the organisation to coordinating projects in Partnerships with other Regions. 

She previously worked for 4 years in Ivory Coast for several Development NGOs and Electoral observation.

Izabela Jurczik-Arnold

She has been involved in several youth NGOs since 2002, first as a volunteer and then as a professional youth worker and trainer.

Since 2007 she has worked for the European Federation for Intercultural Learning, where she designs and implements training projects for its member organisations - the network of 28 national partners of AFS Intercultural Programs in Europe.

She has university degrees in business administration and in classical music, however her competences and working path have been primarily shaped by Non-Formal Education and the European youth work context.

Amel Yacef

Amel Yacef works at the Youth Council of Ireland and has worked in the youth and community sector in Ireland for the past 15 years.

She has extensive experience working with young people and their families who face inequalities and injustice. 

No matter what contexts Amel finds herself working in she focuses on building the capacity of young people to do it themselves, through self-organising, self-advocacy, self-representation and critical civic engagement.

The last few years she has been engaging particularly young people from ethnic minority backgrounds and supporting them to work through their additional vulnerabilities.

Annika Taube

Annika Taube is a current Law Student at Cologne University with special focus on cultural aspects of law and religious law.

Her interest in intercultural understanding was sparked after her youth exchange year in the U.S. with Youth for Understanding (YFU) Germany.

She became involved in the voluntary work of YFU and started with Colored Glasses in 2010.

Since 2015, she is one of the national coordinators of Colored Glasses in Germany. 

Indre Vareikyte

EESC member

Delegate of the Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT)

Tinkara Oblak

Tinkara Oblak is a student of Political Science in the University of Ljubljana, Board Member in the European Youth Forum responsible for employment, EU institutions and advocacy and EURO MED cooperation.

She also works as Public Affairs and HR assistant in GE.


Ellen Meijer

Ellen Meijer is Project leader EU presidency on Youth of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.

The prevention of radicalisation leading to extremism is priority topic of the Dutch presidency. In the past 20 years she had various management positions, amongst others director of the International department of the Netherlands Youth Institute, in various organizations in the youth field. She also held the position of director of the Dutch National Agency of the Youth in Action programme (now Erasmus +).

She has broad knowledge on various aspects concerning the optimum development of children and young people, working in an international context. Mrs. Meijer (1961) studied Social Geography at the University of Utrecht.

  Ilona Von-Bethlenfalvy, Terrorism and Crisis Management, DG HOME,  European Commission
  Dennis Van Der Veur, Agency for Fundamental Rights (tbc)

Katerina Dimitrakopoulou

Katerina studied law in Athens. She completed a Masters' Degree and a Ph.D. on European law at the University of Hamburg.

Prior to joining the European institutions, she worked as a lawyer in Athens and Brussels.

After working at the European Economic and Social Committee, she joined the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship of the Union Directorate of DG Justice. She is currently specialising in Union Citizenship issues.

Méabh Mc Mahon

Méabh Mc Mahon is a TV & radio reporter based in Brussels. She covers the European Union, Nato and Belgium for the 24 hour news channel France24 and Radio France International and presents and produces a weekly English show on Belgian TV, Bruzz.

Twitter @Brusselsness



Workshop 2: Social integration and the role of CSOs

Lejla Šehić Relić

Lejla Šehić Relić is the founder and managing director of Volunteer Centre Osijek, committed civil society leader and activist since 2003, expert for the development of volunteerism and community development programs, mentor for the implementation of quality insurance system for non-profit organizations, trainer and  consultant for organizational development and development of quality volunteer programs in non-profit organizations.

Lejla holds university degree in public administration. For the past 10 years she has been active in the development of public policy in favour to ​​civil society and volunteerism in Croatia.

In the period 2012- 2014 Lejla was president of the Croatian National Council for the development of volunteerism. She is the co-author of several publications on volunteering, civil society and conflict management.

Laura de Bonfils, Volonteurope

Laura de Bonfils is the Policy and Research Coordinator at Volonteurope Secretariat and UK charity Volunteering Matters.

Prior to this Laura worked as a freelance researcher in social policy with a focus on equality, employment and health. She worked at the European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius from 2012 to 2013 co-authoring the first edition of the Gender Equality Index.

She also has previous experience working in several communications teams in non-profit organisations as well as working as a journalist for the Italian newswire ANSA and other Italian media and as a Communications Officer for international events and theatre performances.

Laura has a passion for advocating for social justice and is involved in several volunteering projects supporting the Italian community in London and for an LGBT organisation in Lithuania. She is also a contributor to the Italian feminist webzine Pasionaria.it.

Pavel Trantina

Pavel was born in 1975 in České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia. Studied history and political science at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague.

Worked as political analyst in the Office of the President of the Czech Republic (1996-2002), International Commissioner of Junak – Association of Scouts and Guides of the Czech Republic (mostly as a volunteer), Chairman of the Czech Council of Children and Youth (2004-2007) and Director of the Department of EU Affairs at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, responsible for the preparation of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council (2007-2009). Coordinator of recognition of non-formal education in the ESF funded project „Keys for life“ (2010-2011).

Currently works as EU projects and relations manager in the Czech Council of Children and Youth and freelance in project management. Member of the European Economic and Social Committee since 2006, specialized in youth issues, education, situation of young people at the labour market and volunteering. 

A volunteer for more than 20 years on different levels in several organisations.Co-chair of the Working group on Legal Framework of Volunteering within the Alliance for the European Year of Volunteering 2011. Also, between 2010 and 2013, a Coordinator of the Volunteering working group of the European Scout Region. Chair of the EESC Coordination Group for the EYV 2011. Since February 2013 the first President of the newly established European Alliance for Volunteering.


Denis Haveaux

Denis Haveaux is the Director of the Red Cross EU Office in Brussels.

He began his assignement in November 2015, representing the IFRC, 29 National Red Cross Societies in the EU and the Norwegian Red Cross vis-à-vis the European Institutions. He oversees external relations, coordination and advocacy between the Red Cross Red Crescent and the EU institutions in the areas of humanitarian aid, development cooperation and programmes addressing vulnerable people within the EU.

He has over 20 years of professional experience in a range of senior roles at the United Nations, as well as EU legal and programme management experience.

Most recently, he served as the UNAIDS Senior Intervention Adviser and Country Director in Tanzania, advocating increased support to vulnerable populations and the protection of Human Rights.

Previously he was the Country Director for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan based in Tashkent (2010-2013), and the Head of the UNAIDS Liaison Office in the EU in Brussels (2005-2010).


Marida Bolognesi

Marida Bolognesi is President of  SVS Pubblica Assistenza.

A CEV associate member, the SVS Pubblica Assistenza is a Voluntary Association founded in the city of Livorno in 1890. SVS in the course of its history has obtained numerous honors, awards and gold medals in all of Italy, which demonstrate the high value and quality of their social activities and care programs.

Volunteering is the critical component for the history, life and the daily action of SVS Pubblica Assistenza, carrying out its activities in the form totally free, in compliance with the Law on Volunteering (Law 266/91) and sharing the Charter of Values of Volunteering drawn up by FIVOL and “Gruppo Abele”.


Luk Zelderloo, Director, EASPD

Mr Luk Zelderloo has been professionally active in the disability sector for more than 22 years. He holds a Master’s degree in Management, Social science & philosophy. For more than 13 years he was active as manager of a social service for persons with disabilities in Flanders.

For the last 15 years, he has been active at the European level. He is one of the founding fathers of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD).

He is the President of Job- Link- a service providing organization & training centre in Flanders providing vocational training and job coaching for persons with disabilities, and a Board member of Social Services Europe as well as of the Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD).

Mr Zelderloo also has extensive knowledge of managing EU funded projects. He has acted as a speaker and organiser of conferences on topics such as: education and employment of persons with disabilities, staff training, state aid, poverty reduction, combating sexual abuse, social policies, capacity-building in EEC and stakeholder cooperation.

Marie-Anne Paraskevas

Marie- AnneParaskevas is a Senior Policy Expert at the European Commission and she comes from Greece.

She studied Law and Political Sciences at the Athens University. After a postgraduate course on European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges, she joined the Legal Service of the European Commission in 1980.

Since 1995, Marie- Anne has been working in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, firstly on gender equality issues and as from 2004 on issues relating to social inclusion and the fight against poverty. In September 2011, she took up the coordination of the team working on the transnational dimension of the European Social Fund.

As from January 2013, she has been also in charge of other files which include the horizontal principles of the ESI Funds, in particular the European Conduct on Partnership and territorial cooperation( CLLD, ITI,etc) as well as for issues relating to social inclusion, including social economy and social entrepreneurship, and social innovation.


Jozo Radoš

He was born in 1956 in Seonica village near Tomislavgrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He moved in Croatia in early age and attended elementary school in Đakovoand gymnasium in Zagreb. In 1983 he graduated from Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing of University of Zagreb.

From 1983 he worked as a professor of history and electrical engineering in Osijek and Đakovo, designer of the development of system of power electronics in KONČAR Group and as technologist of electronics in Electric Bulb Factory - Tez Zagreb. In 1993 he graduated philosophy and history at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of University of Zagreb.

In 2011 he obtained scientific master's degree in International relations on Faculty of Political Science of University of Zagreb.

His political career begins in 1992 when he is elected in first Croatian Parliament. He was member of Croatian parliament 5 times (1992 - 2000, 2003 - 2008, 2011 - 1 of July 2014). He was member of Zagreb City Council in periods 1995 - 1997 and 2005 - 2013. From 2000 until 2002 he was Croatian Minister of Defence in the government led by Ivica Račan. From 1990 until 2002 he was member of HSLS (Croatian Social Liberal Party), when he becomes President of liberal party LIBRA.

From 2012 he was Observer in European Parliament and from 2014 he is member of European Parliament. He is father of three: Ruža, Dorotea and Marko. He speaks English and Russian, and his hobbies include hiking and traditional Croatian version of bowling

Mohammed Azahaf

Mohammed Azahaf, son of Moroccan immigrants to Spain, participates in social work since the 90s and is a founding member of the first Association Children of Immigrants in Spain (SABABIA), of which he was president for four years.

He has worked as a youth trainer and as Intercultural Mediator in Madrid for 8 years, specializing in direct educational intervention with youth at risk of social exclusion and has held the positions of Coordinator Immigration and Multiculturalism in the Youth Council Community Madrid and the Youth Council of Spain.

Mohammed has experience as a columnist for the newspaper El Pais, Infolibre, El Diario, El Plural, and also in various TV programs for Sixth, Al Jazeera TV Hispan or Cordoba International.

Katherine Heid

Katherine’s passion for culture has driven her 15+ year career in the arts, intercultural exchange, and European politics.

She began her career at the Franco-German Youth Office in Paris, where she focused on projects and events in film and music. She then worked for the German Youth Ministry’s Department for International Youth Policy, for IJAB, the International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as for the Council of Europe.

At the Council of Europe, Katherine was responsible for “all different – all equal” campaign activities, in addition to organising conferences and workshops on human rights, refugees, diversity and inter-religious dialogue. She then spent six years as co-director of RESEO, the European Network for Opera and Dance Education and was an elected member of Culture Action Europe’s Executive Committee.

In July 2015, Katherine joined Culture Action Europe as Head of political development.Katherine holds a graduate degree in psychology and political sciences, specialising in intercultural and neuropsychology. She is a former professional dancer.

Antonio Silva Mendes

António Silva Mendes is Director for Youth and Sport at the Directorate-General Education and Culture in the European Commission.

He is responsible for maximizing the potential and well-being of young people and to develop the European dimension in sport.

Of Portuguese nationality, he studied mechanical engineering at the University of Lisbon and was professor at the same University for 10 years. Then he became director at the Ministry of Industry in Lisbon.

He began his career at the European Commission in 1990 at the Directorate-General Enterprise, where he took part in international negotiations.

Natalie Cramp

Natalie Cramp is the Director of Team London, the Mayor of London’s volunteering programme for the capital which has been named European Volunteering Capital 2016.

Team London aims to mobilise Londoners to increase the uptake and impact of volunteering for London’s communities by bringing together the different sectors and has reached nearly 1 million Londoners. A key focus of their work has been to build the next generation of volunteers to ensure they have the skills and networks they need to succeed in the world of work, and Team London have now reached over 350,000 young people.

Prior to the Mayor’s office, Natalie worked at the London 2012 Games, mobilising the 200,000 workforce to deliver the operations required and she began her career as a management consultant at Deloitte working on the major transformational programmes across multiple sectors and continents. Outside of work she has always demonstrated a passion for the third sector and young people’s development.

She has held a variety of volunteering roles, including being a Trustee of a children’s charity, on the board of a youth careers social enterprise and a school governor.

David Frautschy

David Frautschy is Manager of Latin American Affairs and Trade Policy of Telefónica S.A., and has been based in the Brussels Office since 2009.

He is Special Rapporteur for External Trade Issues at ETNO. He has worked for Telefónica since 2000, first in its mobile unit in Germany, then joining Telefónica Internacional working as Technology and Operations Manager for Latin America.

He is a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering and holds a Master in Business Administration.


Sara Queila Brito Lopes

Sara graduated as an economics and history teacher.

Currently working as a teacher at CLW Don Bosco Sint-Pieters-Woluwe. she teaches students from the age of 18 to 25 who combine work and studies.

Her main objective is to provide every student with a wider view on society, with the intention to make them independent individuals who are able to find their way in our society and contribute to it.


Workshop 3: Responses to the causes of migration

Cristian Pîrvulescu

Cristian Pîrvulescu is a member of the EESC since 2007 and President of the Permanent Study Group on Immigration and Integration since 2015. He is the rapporteur of numerous opinions on migration, asylum and security. The most recent one was on 'Implementing the European Agenda on Security' (including the proposal on the Counter-terrorism directive).

Mr Pîrvulescu is the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) in Bucharest and President of the Pro-Democracia Association. He is a frequent editorialist, commentator and analyst in Romanian and foreign media.

  Sebastian Stetter, Policy Specialist, DG HOME, European Commission

Geertrui Lanneau

Geertrui Lanneau is a Senior Specialist on labour mobility and human development at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Based at the organization’s Regional Office for the European Union, Norway and Switzerland, she provides technical and policy guidance on labour migration, migrant integration, and the linkages between migration and development.

From 2007 to 2013 she was attached to IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa in Dakar, advising governments and civil society on labour mobility and human development issues. She also provided capacity building support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in migration management.

Prior to joining the IOM, she worked as a Human Rights Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Uganda and as Adjunct Advisor for the Belgian Federal Ministry of Justice. She holds a Masters in Law from the University of Leuven.

Brenda King

EESC member

President of the Sustainable Development Observatory

Chief executive, African & Caribbean Diversity


Saadia Zrira

Saadia Zrira is the President and Founder of the Association ASSID for Sustainable Development in Morocco. Professor Zrira is a researcher and lecturer at the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire (IAV) Hassan II, Rabat, where she obtained her PhD in 1992. She also has BS, DEA, and MS degrees in applied engineering from this institution.

Utilizing her academic background in the field of aromatic and medicinal plants, coupled with her passion for gender development in Morocco, Ms Zrira was inspired to create the first female cooperative related to the valorisation of AMP in the nation.

Since this time, Prof. Zrira has helped to organize over 10 cooperatives that work to cultivate, dry and extract natural and essential oils for production into organic beauty products to be sold domestically and internationally.

Gbenga Sesan

Gbenga Sesan, executive director for Paradigm Initiatives Nigeria (PIN). Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, ‘Gbenga completed Executive Education programs at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University.

Gbenga started as a motivational speaker, telling other young people about the power and potential of ICT and computers to improve their lives. His project, PIN, was the product of his deep desire to ensure that all young students could access computers. PIN was a virtual platform he developed as a way to bring together training volunteers with young people that wanted to learn or improve their ICT and computer skills.

He has spoken extensively around Africa, was Nigeria’s first Information Technology Youth Ambassador (2001 to 2003), and Vice Chair of the UN African Technical Advisory Committee (2004 to 2006). He has also published and co-authored a number of books and articles on ICT, youth and social entrepreneurship

Asma Mansour

A co-founder of the Centre Tunisien pour l'Entreprenariat Social, Tunisia, Asma studied engineering accounting in Tunisia. However, this education did not prove to be satisfying nor suitable for her in order to follow her passions and find a career she loved.

During her university years, Asma was involved in multiple leadership positions in student organizations including Junior Chamber International (JCI) and AIESEC (a global youth network).

Following her graduation from university, Asma was offered a scholarship by the US Embassy to pursue a mini-MBA and right after finishing in 2010, she was offered another scholarship for a Master degree by the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Tunisia.

Passionate about the belief that people must lead the change they desire, Asma co-founded a human rights organization, the People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning (PDHRE Tunisia), which aimed at integrating human rights into citizens’ daily lives.

During Asma’s involvement in the citizen sector, she had an eye-opening experience while witnessing the great needs of an organized civil society and the potential of social entrepreneurship while visiting Japan. This led her to co-found the center in 2011. Asma is an Ashoka Fellow and current president of the TCSE.


Day 2 - Between security and liberty


Mauro Magatti

Economist and sociologist Maurio Magatti is a professor at the faculty of political and social sciences at the Università Cattolica of Milano. He focuses on civil society matters.

He is a permanent research fellow of the Center for Ethics and Culture of Notre Dame University (US) and a columnist for Corriere della Sera.


Workshop 4 - Freedom of expression

Jean-Pierre Dubois

He is a Professor in Constitutional Law at the French University of Paris-Sud. He has been President of the French Human rights League and is now one of its honorary Presidents.

As a researcher and an activist for human rights, he is especially interested in the following topics : Democracy, citizenship, cultural diversity, freedom of conviction and religion and secularism, environmental challenges and human rights.

José Antonio Moreno Díaz

EESC member

Lawyer – Legal Advisor on Immigration, Asylum and Integration Issues

  Gabor Schering, Progressive Hungary Foundation

Workshop 5 - Freedom of movement

László Andor

László Andor is Senior Fellow at Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and a Visiting Professor at ULB (Brussels). He was EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the Barroso II Commission (2010-14).

He studied at Karl Marx (now Corvinus) University and the University of Manchester.

Between 1991 and 2005, he taught political science and economic policy in Budapest, and he was editor of the social science journal Eszmélet. He has also taught at Rutgers (USA) and advised the World Bank on SAPRI. From 2005 until 2010 he was a Member of the Board of Directors of the EBRD (London), representing the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia.

He is Policy Fellow at IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn), a Senior Adviser at EPC, a member of RAND Europe’s Council of Advisors, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Friends of Europe, and member of the Board of Directors of Notre Europe (Paris).

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaszloAndorEU

Pieter Cleppe

Pieter is the Head of the Brussels office of Open Europe (Open Europe Brussels VZW). He is a frequent contributor to the broadcast and print media across Europe, discussing EU reform, the refugee crisis and the eurocrisis. A trained lawyer, Pieter previously practiced law in Belgium, and has worked as a cabinet advisor and speechwriter to the Belgian State Secretary for Administrative Reform.

Pieter also previously worked as an analyst at the Belgium’s Itinera Institute, which he helped to found. He received his legal training at the Catholic University of Leuven, and also studied law and economics at the universities of Hamburg, Bologna and Vienna.


Dr. Paul Minderhoud


Dr. Paul Minderhoud is an associate professor at the Centre for Migration Law of the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His main research interests are free movement, EU citizenship and the legal and socio-legal aspects of immigration and social security. He is managing editor of the European Journal of Migration and Law. Until 2014 he was project director of the European Network on Free Movement of Workers.

For publications see his personal webpage: www.ru.nl/law/minderhoud

Anthony Valcke


Anthony Valcke has been advising on EU residence rights for over ten years. He directs the operations of the EU Rights Clinic, the first law clinic to specialise in EU law which was set up by ECAS in collaboration with the University of Kent in Brussels. He is visiting lecturer at Kent and teaches modules on EU migration law and EU constitutional law. He is also Adjunct Professor of Law at Vesalius College in Brussels where he teaches EU law relating to the single market. He is qualified as a solicitor in England and is also a member of the Brussels and Palermo bars.

Luca Jahier


President of the Various Interests Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

At the EESC since 2002, currently President of Group III, Various Interests, a member of the SOC and ECO Sections. The most recent opinions which he has drafted as rapporteur include: perspectives for Africa's social economy; cooperation between the EU, Africa and China; the statute for European political parties; the implementation of Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union on participatory democracy; the social dimension of EMU; and improving the functioning of the EU by building on the Lisbon Treaty (exploratory Opinion requested by the European Parliament).

President of FOCSIV (federation of development cooperation NGOs) from 1994 to 2000, among the founders of the Italian Third Sector Forum, former President of the national council of ACLI 2008- 2012, a- Christian Associations of Italian Workers which promotes, through its network of local branches, services, enterprises and ad-hoc projects employment and active participation in social life.

•          degree in political science

•          former international relations journalist, responsible for development programmes in Africa and elsewhere

•          communication initiatives and public campaigns, studies and research engaged in several Italian and European social economy networks

URL: http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.group-3-presidency

Tanja Fajon

Tanja Fajon is a Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair and Member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) and a Vice-Chair Woman of Social Democrats of Slovenia (SD).

Tanja Fajon graduated in journalism at the University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Political and Social Sciences). She also holds a Master Degree in International Politics from the College of Interdisciplinary Studies in Paris.

In 2001, she became a journalist correspondent for Radio Television Slovenia in Brussels and kept this foreign post for almost 8 years. Mrs Fajon was for the first time elected to the European parliament in 2009. Mrs Fajon has been actively involved in the politics of the Western Balkans and as the European Parliament's rapporteur on visa liberalization for the Western Balkans. Mrs Fajon made an important contribution to the life of citizens of the Western Balkans countries as they can finally travel freely to the European Union countries. As a sign of appreciation for this valuable achievement, American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina awarded her honorary doctorate degree (2010).

Boris Le Hir

Boris Le Hir, Phd in Economics, civil engineer, is specialised in applied economic modelling and in innovation economics.

He works at France Stratégie, a public think tank advising the Prime Minister. He is the co-author with Vincent Aussilloux of a study about the economic cost of rolling back Schengen.


Elena Dulguerova

Elena Dulguerova currently works at the DG Migration and Home Affairs, where she is dealing with the management of Schengen internal and external borders, in particular as concerns the Schengen Borders Code, since 2015.

She previously worked for more than 8 years as a legal officer at the European Commission, DG Taxation and Customs Union, where she was mainly involved in the management of the EU customs union through the issuance of legislation and defence of the Union's interest in cases before the EU Court of Justice and in the WTO.

She has also previously worked as legal adviser at the Legal Service of the Belgian Ministry of Defence. She received her legal training at the University of Liège and has a Master in European Law from the University of Edinburgh.

Niklaus Nuspliger

Niklaus Nuspliger has been the Brussels correspondent for the Swiss journal Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) since 2013. He writes news articles on foreign affairs and security policy, with a special focus on immigration, free movement, data protection and the fight against terrorism. Before taking over his position in Brussels, he had served as a foreign correspondent in New York City and as a parliament correspondent in Bern. In addition to his work as a journalist, Niklaus has held academic guest lectures, offered comment on TV and radio and moderated panels in Switzerland, Belgium and the United States.

Workshop 6 - Living together... or in parallel societies?

Cristian Pîrvulescu

Cristian Pîrvulescu is a member of the EESC since 2007 and President of the Permanent Study Group on Immigration and Integration since 2015. He is the rapporteur of numerous opinions on migration, asylum and security. The most recent one was on 'Implementing the European Agenda on Security' (including the proposal on the Counter-terrorism directive).

Mr Pîrvulescu is the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) in Bucharest and President of the Pro-Democracia Association. He is a frequent editorialist, commentator and analyst in Romanian and foreign media.

Ruby Gropas

Before joining the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), Ruby GROPAS was Research Fellow in the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute, Florence. She is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges since 2012.

Ruby has worked at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and for McKinsey and Co. in Zurich and Athens. She was Southeast Europe Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC and Visiting Fellow with the Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University.

Her research and publications have focused on different aspects of migration, European integration, foreign policy and human rights. Ruby studied Political Science at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Business Management at the University of Maryland, and then pursued her graduate studies in European Studies at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

She holds a PhD in International Relations from Cambridge University.

Bart Somers

Bart somersis a Flemish politician, member of the Open-VLD party, where he has fulfilled various functions. He has been minister-president of the region of Flanders and party president for five years.

Currently he is the Group chairman for Open VLD in the Flemish Parliament and Vice-president of the ALDE-group in the Committee of the Regions. He has been Mayor of the Belgian town of Mechelen since 2001 and a Member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) since 2004. The CoR scheduled the adoption of the opinion Combatting radicalization: mechanism for prevention on a local and regional level, of which Mr Somers is the rapporteur, for 15 June 2016.

Fatima Zibouh

Fatima Zibouhholds a Master's Degree in Political Science (Free University of Brussels) and a special M.A. in Human Rights (University of Louvain-la-Neuve). Since 2007, she has worked as a researcher at the CEDEM (Centre for Ethnicity and Migration Studies) at the University of Liège and is currently working on her PhD in Social and Political Sciences.

Her topic is the political activism of ethno-cultural minorities through urban forms of artistic expressions and on the cultural identification process in a post-migration context.

Among other publications, Ms Zibouh has written “The political participation of representatives of Maghrebian origins to the Brussels regional elections and electoral strategies” (Academia-Bruylant, 2010), “Political representation of Muslims in Brussels” (Brussels Studies, 2011) or "Culture, Ethnicity and Politics" (Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2015). At the same time, Ms. Zibouh is active in the associative life on the issues of social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, and the future of Brussels.

Irini Ivoni Pari

Ms Pari is a  member of the European Economic and Social Committee and president of the ad hoc Group on European Citizens' Initiative.

She is Permanent Delegate of SEV-Hellenic Federation of Enterprises in Brussels and Member of the Committee of Permanent Delegates of BUSINESSEUROPE – Confederation of European Business since 1995. Member of the European Economic and Social Committee since 1998 in the Group I – Employers.

Currently she is President of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ad hoc Group, Member of the Bureau of the European Migration Forum and Member of the Social and Economic sections. She has been Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee responsible for Communication (2008-2010) and President of the Immigration and Integration working group (2013-2015). She studied Political Science and International Relations at University of Panteion in Athens and European Studies at Institut d’Etudes Européennes at ULB in Βrussels.

Claire Fernandez

Claire Fernandez is Deputy Director of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR). Prior to joining ENAR in February 2013, Claire worked as an independent human rights consultant. Her previous assignments include leading the Open Society Foundations’ campaign on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights and revising the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ Report on the human rights of Roma. Previously, she worked as an adviser to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. From 2008 to 2010, she served the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia and Kosovo, advising local authorities on good governance and minorities’ rights. She holds a Master degree in Human Rights from the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg (France).

Mohammed Ali OBE

Mohammed Ali OBE was born in Pakistan and came to live in Bradford (UK) with his father in 1969. He is the founder and chief executive of QED Foundation (Quest for Economic Development), a civil society organisation that has been campaigning for policy change to meet the social and economic needs of ethnic minorities for 25 years. During this period the charity has raised 19.4m EUR in order to provide support services direct to disadvantaged communities, with a focus on education, training and employment.

Mohammed Ali has represented the UK on the European Integration Forum since 2009 and has pioneered many new initiatives including pre-departure training to help new migrants settle in to their new homes and greater involvement of Islamic supplementary schools in the education of Muslim schoolchildren.

He has helped to create more than 100 partnerships bringing together governments and private, public and voluntary sector organisations to break down barriers to integration and promote equal opportunities for all.

Assia Oulkadi

Assia Oulkadi is a project coordinator related to youth inclusion in FEMYSO - Forum Of European Muslim Youth And Student Organisations. She is currently coordinating the Belgian part of the  ADVISE project.

The latest aims to identify and address gaps in national policies to protect against Islamophobia in education and to develop advocacy strategies towards stakeholders for better protection of students who face Islamophobia in education. 

She has also collaborated on different projects related to social inclusion of Muslims, at European and national level. She studied International relations in Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and Peace studies at Bradford University (UK).



Closing session


Jo Leinen

Jo Leinen has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1999. From 2004 to 2009 he was President of the Constitutional Affairs Committee and from 2009 to 2011 he chaired the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Mr Leinen has been the Chairman of the Delegation for the relations with China since 2014, and is a full member of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee as well as of the Committee for Foreign Affairs. He is also a full Member of the European Parliament's Working Group on EU-UN relations and a substitute Member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

In the year 2000, he took part in the Convention for the Elaboration of a Charter of Fundamental Rights for the EU.

Before becoming an MEP, Jo Leinen was Minister for the Environment in the State Government of Saarland, Germany from 1985-1994.

Furthermore, Jo Leinen has been a very active member of pro-European civil society organisations. After being President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) from 1997 to 2005 he was appointed the organization's Honorary President. Leinen also served as Vice President of the European Movement International (EMI) from 2003 to 2011, before becoming its current President in November 2011.

Paul Dujardin

Paul Dujardin is a leading figure in Europe’s cultural landscape. As CEO and Artistic Director of the Centre for Fine Arts of Brussels (BOZAR – since 2002) the institution has grown into a respected and internationally recognized European cultural hub of the XXIst century, attracting around 1 million visitors each year and playing a crucial role as a meeting place for the various international communities established in Belgium and for the European Union.