List of speakers

(in alphabetical order)

Gianluca Brunetti,
Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee since 2018

Gianluca Brunetti was appointed secretary-general of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in November 2018. He started his career in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and in Brussels (1986-1991).

In 1991 he moved to the European Parliament, where he served as policy advisor in several parliamentary committees before joining the EESC in 2010 as Human resource Director.

He holds a degree in Political Sciences, specialising in EU law and politics.

Adélaïde Charlier,
Climate Activist, Youth for Climate

Adélaïde Charlier is a Belgian human rights and climate activist, organiser of the movement ‘Youth for Climate’ - a climate action movement, inspired by Greta Thunberg-, which organized 25 schools strikes and demonstrations with thousands of youth to demand political actions for the climate crisis.

Adélaïde was also the Belgian representative at Amnesty International. In 2019, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a sailing boat with a project called ‘Sail to the Cop’, which goal was to reach the COP25 in Chile without stepping on a plane. In South America, Adélaïde attended also a summit in the Amazon Forest, Brazil.

She is currently a student at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Anuna De Wever,
Climate Activist, Youth for Climate

Anuna De Wever, student, is one of the leading figures in the School strike for the climate movement in Belgium. She wrote a weekly column for the magazine HUMO between February and May of 2019.

In October 2019, De Wever was among the youngest climate activists to set sail on the Regina Maris for a low-carbon trans-Atlantic journey to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Chile.

She recently started a traineeship at European Parliament with the Greens/European Free Alliance.

Ska Keller,
Co-President Greens/EFA in the European Parliament

Ska Keller is the current Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament. Born in Guben in the state of Brandenburg, she studied Islamic Studies, Turkology and Jewish Studies at the Free University Berlin and the Sabanci Üniversitesi Istanbul.

Before becoming a member of the European Parliament, Mrs. Keller was chairperson and spokesperson on women's policy for Alliance 90/The Greens in Brandenburg, spokeswoman for the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) and board member of the German Young Greens.

Moreover, Mrs. Keller is a member of the Committee on Fisheries (PECH) and the ANIT committee (Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport). She is also a member of the European Parliament's Mexico Delegation.

Cillian Lohan,
Vice-President of the EESC in charge of Communication

Cillian Lohan graduated from University College Cork and University of Ulster with Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees.

He has worked extensively in the corporate sector and in the environmental sector.

He is a leader in the field of Circular Economy. He was the inaugural Chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform which he helped to establish. He is an experienced delegate at United Nations initiatives such as the Climate COP negotiations, and the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.

As CEO of Green Economy Foundation, Cillian has overseen ambitious projects including the planting of over 1 million trees in Ireland, and the establishment of a Wildlife Reserve in Tobago.

Samuel Masse,
President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA)

Samuel is a winegrower from Southern France. He works with his brother on what was once their grandparents’ farm and has 20 hectares of organic vines in “PDO Languedoc” and “PGI Pays d’Oc”. Samuel studied viticulture and oenology and did internships in the USA on vineyard management.

He got involved in Jeunes Agriculteurs (JA), the French young farmers’ organisation, as Secretary General and then President of JA Hérault, and Treasurer of JA Languedoc Roussillon.

In 2018, he joined the national Board of JA in charge of European and international issues, the food chain and quality labels. In 2019, he was elected Vice-President of CEJA and is since January 2021 the current President of the organisation.

Christa Schweng,
President of the European Economic and Social Committee

Christa Schweng has been an EESC member for 22 years, working as rapporteur for several opinions.

She is the outgoing president of the EESC's Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship and chaired the Labour Market Observatory from 2013 to 2015.

Ms Schweng gained deep expertise in social and employment issues, working as an advisor both at EU level and in her native Austria. Outside the EESC, she works for the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

She has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work since 1995 and has held every three years the rotating presidency of the Board of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work since 2001. She chaired the SMEunited Social Affairs Committee between 2001 and 2009.

Christa Schweng holds a master's degree in law from the University of Vienna.

Frans Timmermans,
Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal

Frans Timmermans is the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and European Commissioner for Climate Action since 2019. Between 2014 and 2019, he served as First Vice-President of the EU Commission, in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Mr Timmermans was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands from 2012 to 2014 and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2010, in charge of European Affairs. Prior to his political activity as a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the Labour Party, he worked in the diplomatic service of the Netherlands.

Mr Frans Timmermans holds a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from Radboud University and Postgraduate courses in European Law and French Literature from the University of Nancy.