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Monday 22 May


2 p.m.

Meeting room JDE 62



2.30 - 3.30 p.m.


Inaugural Session


  • Mr Luca Jahier, President of the Various Interests Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
  • Mr Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
  • Mr Jean-Eric Paquet, Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission
  • Professor Olivier De Schutter, Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food
  • Q & As

3.30 – 4.30 p.m.

The 2030 Agenda and Societal Change: from dreams to reality

Keynote speakers:

  • Mr Brice Lalonde, Advisor to the French Chapter of the UN Global Compact, Chair of the Business and Climate Summit and the French Water Academy, former Executive Coordinator of the UN Rio+20 conference and former French Environment Minister
  • Ms Céline Charveriat, Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
  •  Q & AS
4.30 -6.30 p.m.

Building our Future in Partnership: civil society, business and citizens as key drivers of the 2030 Agenda

Chair: Mr Ioannis Vardakastanis, Vice-President of the Various Interests Group of the EESC, President of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and of the Greek National Confederation of Disabled People (ESAmeA)

  • Mr Rilli Lappalainen, Secretary-General of Kehys (Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU) – Civil society involvement in the 2016 National Voluntary Reviews at the UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF)
  • Ms Deirdre de Burca, Member of the Steering Committee of SDGs Watch Europe and Facilitator of the Work Strand 'Reflection, Innovation, Experimenting & Learning Together', Advocacy Co-ordinator with the International Forum for National NGO Platforms (IFP)
  • Mr Giulio Lo Iacono, Coordinator of relations with stakeholders, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS)
  • Q & As


  • Ms Valerie Demeure, Head of Thematic Research and analyst on Corporate Social Responsibility at VIGEO EIRIS
  • Ms Katherine Heid, Head of Political Development at Culture Action Europe  – Promoting Culture as the 4th pillar of sustainable development
  • Q & As
Tuesday 23 May Meeting room JDE 62
9.30 – 11 a.m.

Moving beyond GDP: from indicators to policy design

Chair: Ms Brenda King, President of the Sustainable Development Observatory of the EESC and Chief Executive of African and Caribbean Diversity

  • Mr Karl Falkenberg, Hors Classe Senior Advisor for Sustainable Development", European Policy Strategy Centre (EPSC) of the European Commission
  • Mr Laurs Norlund, Principal Adviser, Eurostat
  • Mr Nuno Crato, Senior Scientist at the Directorate for Competences, Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission and former Minister of Education and Science in Portugal
  • Q & As


  • Professor Enrico Giovannini, full professor of Economic Statistics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"; former Minister of Labour and Social Policies; former member of the "Stiglitz Commission"; former director of statistics at the OECD - Video connection
  • Q & As
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Case Studies Panel I – Putting People First


Chair: Mr Séamus Boland, Member of the Various Interests Group of the EESC and Chief Executive of Irish Rural Link

(National examples of local initiatives in poverty eradication, food security, sustainable agriculture, community-led conservation)

  • Mr Chris Uys, member of the Technical Advisory Group, Abbeyleix Bog Project Ltd, Ireland – supporting community-led conservation
  • Mr Deniss Davõdov, CEO of the company BIOORG PRO OÜ and member of the board of Estonian Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania – innovating through sustainable agriculture
  • Ms Oana Neagu, Director of Copa & Cogeca
  • Q & As


  • Ms Sian Jones, Policy coordinator at the European anti-poverty network
  • Ms Catherine Naughton, Director of the European Disability Forum
  • Ms Patrizia Heidegger,  Director of Global Policies and Sustainability at the European Environment Bureau (EEB)
  • Q & As


1 – 2.30 p.m. Lunch offered by the President of the Various Interests Group (Atrium on the 6th floor of the Jacques Delors building)
2.30 – 4.30p.m.

Case Studies Panel II – Moving together to a low carbon and circular economy


Chair: Ms Lidija Pavić-Rogošić, Member of the Various Interests Group of the EESC and Director of ODRAZ - Sustainable Community Development from Croatia


  • Prof. Dr. Piotr Banaszuk, renewable energy in the Podlaskie region, Poland – promoting regional development via renewable energy
  • Dr René Mono,  Chief Executive of Bürgerbündnis Erneuerbare Energien, Germany - Through democracy to sustainability: why a sustainable future needs a new distribution of power
  • Ms Harriet Tiemens, Alderman and Deputy Mayor of the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands - winner of the 2018 European Green Capital Award (the city aims to become energy neutral by 2045 and ‘climate proof’ by 2050)
  • Q & As


  • Mr Aitor Zulueta, Director of Natural Heritage and Climate Change of the Basque Government, Spain
  • Mr Cillian Lohan, EESC rapporteur on the circular economy and Chief Executive of the Green Economy Foundation
  • Mr Thierry Libaert, Member of the Various Interests Group of the EESC, representative of the NGO Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man and scientific collaborator with the University of Leuven – How to implement sustainable development via the activities of consumers
  • Q & As
4.30 – 5 p.m.

Concluding Session

  • Mrs Stephanie Beecroft, Policy and Advocacy Team Leader from the European Youth Forum
  • Mr Luca Jahier, President of the Various Interests Group of the EESC