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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.

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

Cillian Lohan has been Vice-President for Communication of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since October 2020, and an active member of the institution since 2015.

He has worked extensively in the corporate and environmental sectors.

He is a leader in the Circular Economy field and was the inaugural chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, which he helped to establish. Cillian has extensive experience as a delegate to the United Nations, working on initiatives such as the COP climate negotiations and the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

As CEO of the Green Economy Foundation, he has overseen ambitious projects including the planting of over one million trees in Ireland and the establishment of a wildlife reserve in Tobago.

Cillian graduated from University College Cork and the University of Ulster with a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Science.

Neža Repanšek,
EESC member

Neža Repanšek is a member of European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since October 2020. Working within the Bureau of EESC, Group III Bureau and the REX, SOC and INT section, as a rapporteur on opinions and a contributor to work in study groups, as well as a member of ad-hoc groups (Ad Hoc group to COP 27 and Ad Hoc Group on the Year of Youth). Proactively, Neža has supported EESC activities within Slovenian Presidency in 2021, and in 2022 continued with the same proactive approach with our non-formal group on youth, which supported the implementation of Year of Youth activities.

Neža has been actively involved in different CSOs and youth organizations at local, national and international levels since 2007. Professionally, she dedicates her time to project management, non-formal training and vocational education counselling on Erasmus+ programs. More detailed background can be found on her LinkedIn profile. She has a degree in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana and is pursuing master’s degree in Educational Management at International School for Social and Business Studies in Celje.

Ismael Páez Civico,
Board Member at the European Youth Forum

Ismael grew up in Spain and Portugal and settled down in Brussels in 2010.

He is currently serving as Executive Coordinator at the CESES (the Confederation of European Senior Expert Services), after working and volunteering for seven years in civil society organisations advocating for youth-related issues, making youth work his main priority.

Before becoming a Board Member of the European Youth Forum, he also worked with European bodies, such as the Council of Europe and the European Commission's Youth Partnership – where he was the host of the Under 30 podcast – and the expert groups in communications within the Commission for EU Youth Dialogue. His drive and commitment to make the world a little better than he found it will simultaneously act as fuel and an engine for the representation young people deserve at a European level.

Biliana Sirakova,
EU Youth Coordinator

Biliana Sirakova is the EU Youth Coordinator since June 1st, 2021. She is a European Commission civil servant since 2010. Her educational background is in Economics and Management, with a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in the US.  She has eighteen years of professional experience across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Biliana’s work has revolved around building and managing relationships with diverse stakeholders, and communicating for impact and learning.