Conny Reuter has been secretary general of SOLIDAR since October 2006. He is also co-chair of the Liaison Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC); co-founder and board member of Social Services Europe (SSE) since 2012; and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Workers' Education Associations (IFWEA) since 2008. From April 2008 to April 2013, he was president of the Social Platform – the platform of European Social NGOs. Conny Reuter has considerable experience in NGO networking and in managing EU and international projects and events. He is specialised in social policies, education and global justice issues.
Luca Jahier was elected president of the EESC at the April 2018 plenary session for a period of two and a half years. He is also co-chair of the EESC Liaison Group and has been president of the EESC's Group III (Various Interests) since 2002. He is a member of the SOC and ECO sections. Recent opinions drawn up by Mr Jahier as rapporteur include "The European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR)", "Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations" and "Improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty" (exploratory opinion requested by the European Parliament). Other opinions include the Implementation of Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union on participatory democracy, the Social Dimension of EMU.
Michael O'Flaherty is the director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Previously, he was an established professor of Human Rights Law and director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and served as chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. From 2004-2012, he was a member of the United National Human Rights Committee, latterly as a vice-chair. He is currently adjunct professor of Law at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Michael O'Flaherty has held a number of senior posts at the United Nations, including the establishment of the UN human rights field missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sierra Leone. His publications include volumes on the law and practice of human rights field operations, the professionalisation of human rights field work and on human rights diplomacy.
Media capacity builder, an independent consultant working with civil society, intergovernmental institutions and political stakeholders. For the past 12 years she has been working with young people on building the organizational capacities of impactful, high profile associations, such as the Middle East and North Africa Committee (MENAC) and the European Youth Press, that focuses on quality media and journalism. Since 2016 she has been involved in Polish pro-democratic civic movements, mainly the Komitet Obrony Demokracji, that focuses on the rule of law and democratic participation. She holds a Master in Political Science. She is an Entrepreneur, political blogger and choreographer, owing two international dance concepts Partyrobics and Chair Dance Express.
Stefan Krischer is a German climate activist in the "Fridays for Future" movement. After graduating from high school in 2018, he uses his Gap-Year before studying physics to help organize the climate strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg. He is currently one of the main organisers of the national strike taking place on 21 June 2019 in Aachen.
Alexandrina has been working for over ten years in the third sector and not-for-profit organisations in France and Europe wise. She is currently Director of the European Civic Forum, a transnational network of over 100 associations across Europe, working to protect civic space, enable civic participation and build civil dialogue for more equality, solidarity and democracy in Europe. In this capacity, she leads different campaigns and initiatives aiming to strengthen the capacity and the role of civil society organisations to stand and act for these values, defend citizens’ rights and become influential in the decision making process. She represents the European Civic Forum in different stakeholders’ groups within the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee or the Council of Europe’s OING Conference.
Alessandra Sciurba is the spokesperson and head of the legal team of Mediterranea Saving Humans. She holds a PhDs on Human Rights from the University of Palermo on detention centres for migrants that was awarded the price Dino Frisullo 2008. She has several years of experience on migration and rights to asylum also as an activist. Among her works there are the documentaries/videos: Diritti respinti. Storie di asilo negato tra l’Italia e la Grecia, The Malta Experience-Racconti da un’isola prigione, Tracce-Storie di rifugiati e richiedenti asilo a Venezia. She authored the books: Campi di forza, Percorsi confinati di migranti in Europa (Ombre Corte, 2009); La cura servile, la cur ache serve (Pacini Edizioni, 2015) and several essays and chapters published in national and international specialised publications on human rights, asylum, migration, discrimination, cultural heritage and migrant women experiences.
Giada Negri is Advocacy and research officer at the European Civic Forum. She holds a bachelor in International Studies from the University of Trento and a Master degree in Eurasian Political Economy and energy from King’s College London. She joined the European Civic Forum in December 2017. She is in charge of coordinating and developing the Civic Space Watch, an online tool for monitoring civic space in Europe.
Assya Kavrakova is the Executive Director of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS), an international non-profit organisation, based in Brussels, with a pan-European membership and 28 years of experience in EU citizens’ rights enforcement and civic participation in the EU decision-making process. She is also a member of the Stakeholder group of the REFIT Platform for Better Regulation. Ms Kavrakova has more than twenty years of experience in senior management positions in the non-governmental sector including skills to manage diverse portfolios of projects and activities, excellent leading ability to manage international teams of experts and NGOs to ensure timely delivery of project outputs and outcomes and in-depth knowledge of EU Funding Rules and Procedures, European Citizenship, European Rights Framework, EU civic participation formal and informal mechanisms. She personally managed and co-authored the study on “Societies outside Metropolises: Understanding Populism and Identifying CSO Responses to the Populist Challenge”.
Christian Moos has been a member of the EESC since 2015. He is the Divisional Director of the German Civil Servants Association, which is represented by members covering the entire public services sector in Germany. European legislation and non-legislative initiatives that impact directly or indirectly public administration, services of general interest, or public authorities count as the organizations' interests. Christian Moos is also the Secretary-general of the Europa-Union Germany (EUD), which is part of the Union of the European Federalists and a board member of the European Movement Germany (EBD). He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Federal Network for Citizen Engagement (BBE), as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the Federal Association of Entrepreneurs Associations (BUV).
Oonagh began her career in teaching before working in management roles within the Education Directorate of Strathclyde Regional Council and holding senior posts in Glasgow City Council and Fife Council. Her work with the Local Government Association focused on improving Children’s Services and co-managing the Ageing Well programme. In the mid 2000s, she spent three years at McGill University School of Social Work, teaching social policy and conducting research in First Nations and Inuit communities. She also spent two years in Brussels as part of her role as European Liaison officer at Strathclyde Regional Council, and has European and international experience. Oonagh holds a degree in Modern Languages, a Master’s in Educational Administration and a Master’s in Art History.
Timo Szczepanska is a PhD candidate at the faculty for Biosciences, Fisheries, and Economics of the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. His research investigates how decision-making processes can be supported by the use of social simulation methods, with the participation of citizens in scientific projects playing a central role. Timo has an educational background in Futures Studies (M.A.) and Philosophy (B.A.) in Berlin, Germany. For the last two years, Timo has been working at the Institute for urban futures in Potsdam, Germany to sketch out the potentials and limitations of participatory modelling methods to inform and sustain urban transformation processes. In his PhD, he is continuing to work on the intersections between technology and humanities with a particular interest in agent-based modelling, group behaviour, and sustainable social and environmental change.
Bartosz is the Head of the Foundation's Council of the Open Dialogue Foundation (Poland) since 2012. He organised a mission of observation and supported Ukrainian civil society during EuroMaidan at the turn of 2013/14. Besides these activities, Bartosz is a radio and TV commentator, appearing in Polish and European media at various occasions. He holds a Master Degree in Management from the Faculty of Management and Social Communication of the Jagiellonian University and the Kozminski University.
Milosh Ristovski comes from Kumanovo (North Macedonia) where he was working as head of CID before starting his mandate as Secretary General of JEF Europe. He has been active as a trainer/facilitator using non-formal education for more than 8 years and is part of the Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. At the moment he is responsible for the daily leadership of the European secretariat of JEF Europe.
A Doctor of Human, Social and Legal Sciences and former university lecturer and teacher at vocational training centres, Pedro Puig-Calvó has also been a teacher trainer in various countries of Europe, America and Africa. He is currently Secretary-General of the Association Internationale des Mouvements Familiaux (International Association of Family Movements for Rural Training) and a lecturer and researcher in the field of dual training.
Coming from a background in international development and policy, with a strong focus on migration and youth issues, Amy Stapleton completed her scholarship with the MITRA Master's programme in Intercultural Mediation: Identities, Mobilities and Conflicts in 2014. Upon qualifying, Amy lectured in various subjects, including intercultural management, migration and languages in the University of Lille and the Catholic University of Lille. She also ran an NGO developing projects in makeshift camps in Northern France, particularly with young migrants and refugees. She is currently an Irish Research Council PhD Scholar in Trinity College Dublin, researching under the supervision of Dr Paula Mayock. The research aims to explore the experiences of separated young people who have transitioned to adulthood in two European contexts (France and Ireland). Amy has been an active member of "Voices of Young Refugees in Europe" since 2016, working to promote young refugee rights across Europe and develop training courses for international and European youth events.
Loredana is responsible for the communication between European Disability Forum (EDF) members and the secretariat, and is in charge of the internal members' newsletter. She manages membership requests and can introduce the EDF to interested organisations. She also supports the EDF Youth Committee and follows up on youth policies. Loredana joined the EDF team in December 2015. She has worked on European youth projects since 2005. She previously worked in VIEWS International, a NGO developing European projects for people with a visual impairment. She also worked in a school for the blind in Romania, her native country. She holds two master's degrees: a master's degree in Inclusive Education from the University Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and a master's degree in Psychology from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, in Belgium.
Ivana is a passionate practitioner of youth work and non-formal learning. She joined the European Youth Forum in 2017 and ever since she is managing the capacity building programme for the Youth Forum member organisations and is working on strengthening the diversity and inclusion of the platform.
Kélig Puyet is Director of the Social Platform, the largest alliance of European rights- and value-based civil society organisations working in the social sector. Ms Puyet has acquired extensive experience in the civil society sector and regarding the impact that EU and national policies have on people in vulnerable situations. Prior to joining the Social Platform, she was Head of Global Advocacy at SOS Children’s Villages International and has been actively involved in the work of various organisations, including the European Youth Forum, Eurochild, Concord and the International Civil Society Centre. Ms Puyet holds a master’s degree in law from the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg and a European master’s degree in human rights and democratisation from the University of Padova and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (University of Lund).
Prof Tim Jackson is a British ecological economist and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey. He is the author of “Prosperity Without Growth” and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity.
Nick Meynen combines ecological economics and environmental justice (www.envjustice.org www.ejatlas.org) to formulate policy proposals for economic transition. He also manages The Switch, the monthly newsletter for the Global Policies and Sustainability unit. Nick has degrees in geography, conflict & development and journalism. He publishes in various media and has authored books on globalization and most recently “Frontlines. Stories of Global Environmental Justice”. He is Belgian and speaks Dutch, French, English and some Nepali.
François Denuit's research interests focus on social justice, the universal basic income, and socio-economic policies at European level. His doctoral dissertation, which he recently successfully defended, analyses the prospects for a European universal basic income (EUBI) as an instrument for combating poverty throughout the EU, and takes an interdisciplinary approach combining insights from political theory, economics and EU studies. Doctor in political and social sciences, University of Warwick and Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Jon Cracknell has worked in various roles with the family of the late Sir James Goldsmith since the 1990s. He oversees the work of the JMG Foundation, which funds environmental campaigns on issues including tropical deforestation, industrial agriculture, and international trade policy. He is also the Trust Secretary of The Ecology Trust. In 2003 Jon helped set up the Environmental Funders Network (EFN) in the UK (www.greenfunders.org). More than 200 foundations and individual funders have been involved in the EFN. Jon has co-authored seven detailed reports (the Where The Green Grants Went series) analysing environmental grant-making patterns from UK foundations, the National Lottery, and public sector grants programmes. In February 2019 he co-authored the most comprehensive study yet of environmental grants from foundations across Europe, Environmental Funding by European Foundations: Volume 4. Jon also co-authored Passionate Collaboration? (2013) and What the Green Groups Said, (2017), reports that break new ground in analysing the ‘demand side’ of the environmental grants market in the UK. Jon served two terms on the management board of the US Environmental Grantmakers Association between 2008 and 2013, and he is a member of the steering group of the European Environmental Funders Group.
Paolo is Secretary General of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) since 2014. He is also Secretary General of The Spinelli Group, a network of federalist members of the European and national parliaments and like-minded supporters across Europe. A long-time campaigner for the European unity and federalism, Paolo has organised and contributed to countless conferences, seminars, events and grass-root campaigns and actions across Europe promoting European democracy and European unity. Professionally he works as Director Legal Affairs Europe for a global chemical multinational with European headquarter in the Netherlands.
Elisa Lironi is the Senior Manager European Democracy, working at the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) since 2015. She develops and leads ECAS’ European Democracy focus area by implementing EU projects and research studies related to Digital Democracy, Online Disinformation and Populism. She was the Project Manager of the Erasmus project DEEP-linking Youth (2015-2017), and she is currently coordinating ECAS’s part in the YouVoteEU (REC project) DEMOS (Horizon2020) and several Europe for Citizens projects. She is currently part of the team working with Secretariat-General of the European Commission on developing and implementing the European Citizens’ Initiative Forum.
Gabriella is from the UK but has lived for many years in Spain and Portugal before moving to Belgium. She has a degree in Social Policy and Education from Surrey University (UK) and a Masters in Education in E-learning from the University of Hull (UK). Her professional background is in business and the Youth NGO Sector where she has worked as an administrator and also as a trainer and expert. Through her work in the youth field she was involved in the campaign to establish 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering. Gabriella has volunteered since childhood in a variety of fields including Youth Advocacy, International Development, Disability, Environment, Immigration, Human Rights, Sports etc. She has worked closely with CEV since July 2010 in her role as Project Manager for the EYV2011 Alliance until the end of the project in March 2012.
Etienne Timmermans has been working in the Rural Foundation of Wallonia for 15 years. First to advice and support municipalities in building up their participative development programmes, further on, he has worked as European-project manager. Currently he is in charge of prospective and European cooperation at the Rural Foundation of Wallonia.
Rosa Pérez Monclús
Rosa Pérez Monclús is the Policy and Advocacy Director at Culture Action Europe. Her background combines experience in cultural policy in the Ministry of Culture of Spain, in the public management of culture in the UK and as strategy consultant in the public and private sector. She holds a BA in Humanities, a double degree in Economics and Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in CCIs. Her deep commitment to the cultural field has led her to pursue an on-going PhD in cultural policy at King’s College London.
Yamam Al- Zubaidi
Yamam Al- Zubaidi has worked with EU equality law and human rights for more than 10 years, both in Sweden and internationally. He is today the Equality & Diversity Manager at the National Theatre of Sweden (RIKSTEATERN). Yamam is on the executive board of Culture Action Europe and is also on the board of directors of the Swedish National Council of Adult Educations.
Péter Inkei has been senior staff member at the Central European University Press – currently Chief Editor – since 1999. This academic publisher with a focus on social sciences and humanities belongs to the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. Since 1999, Péter has also been director of the Budapest Observatory: Regional Observatory on Culture in East-Central Europe. He has worked as a consultant in various fields of cultural policy, among others, for the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and has been a speaker at various international conferences. Previously, he held various positions in the civil service, including deputy state secretary for culture.
Robert Napier has been elected President of ESU for the mandate 2019/2020, after having served for one year as Vice-President of ESU, and after having served as Social Policy Commissioner, Secretary General and President of the National Students' Union of Malta. Within ESU, Robert's main areas of work include the Social Dimension of Higher Education, SDGs, cooperation with the Council of Europe and UNESCO as well as the BFUG. Robert was in charge of drafting the terms of reference of the current BFUG Advisory Group on Social Dimension and is currently chairing the same group on behalf of ESU together with Croatia. Within the EEA, Robert is also in charge of the European Students' Card initiative.
Elisa is a political advisor at SOLIDAR. Before joining Brussels, she worked in the Policy Advisor Unit of the Italian Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. She holds a master's degree in European Studies.
Javier Doz Orrit is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), and the Workers' Group. He is active in the Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO) and the External Relations Section (REX). At national level, he is currently advisor to the General Secretary of the Spanish trade union, Comisiones Obreras – (CC.OO.), a position he has held since 2013. Mr Doz Orrit holds a degree in mathematics from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and is a professor of mathematics. His main areas of activity have been education and confederal trade union development. He has published numerous articles and two books on education, training, economy, trade unionism and politics. In the EESC, he has been rapporteur for the EESC opinions "Towards a more resilient and sustainable European economy", "Euro area economic policy" (2017, 2018 and 2019), "Multiannual Financial Framework post 2020", "Terrorism Financing – Controls of cash movements", "Anti-Money Laundering Directive", and he was also co-rapporteur for the opinion "Investment Plan for Europe: stock-taking and next steps".
Diana Dovgan holds a Master degree in Political Sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Since March 2018 she is the Secretary General of CECOP – European confederation of cooperatives in industry and services - and CICOPA – International organisation of cooperatives in industry and services, where she spent the 10 past years as Policy Officer. From 2004 to 2008, she was a Policy Advisor for the Belgian minister in charge of Social Inclusion and Equal Opportunities.
Former trade union leader (CGT), he led the Unilever workers' fight to protect their jobs when the tea giant, Unilever (Lipton tea and Elephant tea), decided to close down the factory and move production to Poland. After 1336 days of occupation and fight, an agreement was reached and the workers decided to establish a worker cooperative called SCOP-TI and buy the factory out. Currently composed of 41 employees and 58 cooperators, SCOP-TI produces 22 different kind of high quality teas and infusions distributed everywhere in France and beyond. The brand is called "1336" after the number of days the factory was occupied.
Head of the Europeanisation of Industrial Relations Unit and coordinator of the European Workers' Participation Competence Centre at the European Trade Union Institute. Throughout her academic training and research work at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Cambridge and Warwick Universities in the UK, Aline Hoffmann has explored a wide range of legislative, conceptual, political and practical aspects of employee interest representation. From 2001 until 2012, she was head of the European Works Councils team at the headquarters of the German metalworkers’ union IG Metall. During this time she also worked on the related issues of union policy towards central and group works councils as well as supervisory board representation. For 10 years she represented IG Metall on the Company Policy Committee of what was then the European Metalworkers' Federation (EMF). She was the national officer responsible for coordinating IG Metall and EMF activity within the central, group and European works councils of the Bosch Group. She was also a member of the supervisory board at Bosch for 5 years.
President of Action Luxembourg Ouvert et Solidaire – Ligue des Droits de l'Homme. Born in 1958, studied philosophy in Paris, curator of a library in Luxembourg and lecturer at the University of Trier (Germany), president of the Luxembourg League for Human Rights (ALOS-LDH) since 2008, member of the "operational committee" of the AEDH since 2019. Latest publication: Spots – Chroniques de la Ligue des Droits de l'Homme dans l'hebdomadaire luxembourgeois « LE JEUDI » 2011-2018 [Pieces – Columns from the League for Human Rights in the Luxembourg weekly "LE JEUDI" 2011-2018] (co-ed. with Donato Laera). Luxembourg (ALOS-LDH), 2019
Mr Ionut Sibian has been a member of the EESC since 2007. He is Executive Director of the Civil Society Development Foundation, an organisation whose mission is to develop the capacity of civil society organisations and communities and to improve people's lives through information, funding, training and advocacy. He is also President of the Federation of International Development and Humanitarian Aid NGOs (FOND), a platform whose mission is to support the development and implementation of coherent and effective Romanian policy in the fields of international development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Mr Sibian is also a member of Team Europe.
Marylise Léon has been Deputy Secretary-General of the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) since the Rennes Congress in June 2018. She is responsible, in particular, for coordinating industrial action policy, employment issues, combating poverty, digitalisation and relations between trade unions. She joined the confederation’s executive committee in June 2014 as the national secretary responsible, inter alia, for developing social dialogue rules, sustainable development policy, industrial policy and coordination in the area of CSR and corporate governance. She has also worked for the Chimie Energie federation, where she was federal secretary, and has been responsible for safety and the environment in the chemical industry.
Deirdre De Burca
Deirdre is the advocacy coordinator with Forus – a global civil society network with 7 regional coalitions and 69 national development platforms who are very engaged with monitoring and implementing the 2030 Agenda. She is also a founding member of SDG Watch Europe, a cross-sectoral European civil society alliance that works to ensure the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda by the EU and its Member States. Deirdre was previously a member of the Beyond 2015 European Steering Group which was hosted by CONCORD and which engaged in advocacy to influence the content and the ambition of the 2030 Agenda when it was being negotiated. Deirdre is currently working providing expert input to the European Economic and Social Committee's Opinion on the European Commission's Reflection Paper "A Sustainable Europe by 2030".
Citizen K is the Founder of Democracy 4.0 initiative. She is an international relations practitioner, social entrepreneur and poet. Citizen K's passion for democracy, futurism, transformational technology and her experience in mainstream politics was turned into a citizen initiative in 2014. She has been organising Democracy 4.0 workshops with international and European citizens or contributes to panels across Europe and now working on a transformational change model through technology and citizen-centric approach in the way democracy functions. She is a recipient of several awards by international organisations including by European Commission and civic society. In 2013 Citizen K was recognized by the Diplomatic Courier magazine in Washington DC among “the most influential young foreign policy leaders" in the world. Alongside her extensive experience in political institutions and her diverse background in academia, private sector, media, she a regular contributor to European media and her articles and commentaries appeared in various international publications. She is a published poet and socially engaged artist. She was among 50 European poets who co-authored the political poetry book “The European Constitution in Verse” (2009, Brussels) and has a poetry collection and poetry album “River-long Loneliness” released in 2014 and available in major music markets.
Valeria Ronzitti, General Secretary, CEEP (European Centre of Employers and Enterprises Providing Public Services and Services of General Interest). Ms Ronzitti, a jurist, is General Secretary of CEEP since May 2012. Her current priorities are focused on positioning high-performing public services as a key component for EU competitiveness and a driver for jobs and growth EU wide, as well as promoting sustainable long-term investment and making public services and services of general interest a cornerstone for the future of Social Europe. She is an active member of the REFIT Platform (stakeholder group) since its creation in 2015, where she represents the public services community and where she is reporter for employment and co-reporter for competition policies.
She is also member of the high-level task force on investment in social infrastructure chaired by Romano Prodi. The Task Force is working with a view to support the social dimension of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe and aims at creating the conditions to boost investment in European social infrastructure, such as education, health and social housing.
Jeremy Wates has served as Secretary General of the EEB, Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organizations, since May 2011. The EEB brings together around 150 environmental organisations from over 30 countries, with a combined membership of some 30 million environmentally concerned citizens. Prior to taking up his present post, Jeremy worked from 1999 to 2010 as Secretary to the Aarhus Convention with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, having previously led the NGO campaign for such a treaty and then coordinated the input from civil society organizations into the Aarhus negotiations. In the 1980s, Jeremy founded the Irish environmental organization Earthwatch and led the organization for more than a decade. He holds an MA Honours Degree in Philosophy and Social & Political Sciences from Cambridge University, UK.