Connecting EU 2022 seminar

Geopolitical turmoil at Europe's door: the perspective of civil society
24-25 November 2022 - Hotel Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Croatia

Thursday 24 November 2022

8.30 - 9.30 a.m. Registration and Welcome Coffee

9.30 - 10.10 a.m. Welcome session 

Chair and introduction: Cillian Lohan, EESC Vice-President for Communication

Welcome speeches:

  • Christa Schweng, EESC President 
  • Marin Piletić, president of Economic and Social Council (GSV), Croatian Minister for Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy
  • Andrea Čović Vidović, Head of Media, European Commission Representation in Croatia 
  • Violeta Simeonova Staničić, Head of the European Parliament Office in Croatia 

10.10 - 10.30 a.m. Keynote speech:

  • Galia Ackerman, writer, journalist and historian, French translator of Anna Politkovskaya's work

    How did the West make a mistake about Vladimir Putin?

10.30 - 11 a.m. Coffee break

11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Panel I – In the shadow of war: Europe's new geopolitical context and consequences for the future of the EU

Moderated by: Mila Moralić, editor and reporter at N1 television/ CNN exclusive news channel affiliate

Introduction to the topic: Seamus Boland, President of the EESC Civil Society Organisations' Group 


  • Dušan Gajić, Correspondent for RTS - Serbian public Broadcaster. Founder of SEETV - South East Europe TV Exchanges, author of award-winning documentaries (The Graduates, The Promise, The Long Road through Balkan History)
  • Leila Bičakčić, Director at Centre for Investigative Reporting, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Adnan Ćerimagić, Senior Analyst for the Western Balkans, European Stability Initiative
  • Marika Djolai, Key Expert at Particip GmbH, Research and Policy at Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG)
  • Augustin Palokaj, Brussels correspondent and columnist for Croatian national daily newspaper Jutarnji list

1 - 2.30 p.m. Lunch break

2.30 - 4.30 p.m. Networking session

  • Speed networking between the organising team and guest press officers
  • Alexander Kleinig, director of Communication and Interinstitutional relations: The new EESC communication strategy – Q&A

Friday 25 November 2022

8.30 - 9 a.m. Registration and coffee 

9 - 9.30 a.m. Opening session 

  • Cillian Lohan, EESC Vice-President for Communication
  • Hrvoje Zovko, president of the Croatian Journalists' Association

9.30 - 12.00 a.m. Panel II – Communication in times of crisis

Moderated by: Ivana Dragičević, editor-at-large and reporter for N1 television/CNN exclusive news channel affiliate; Europe’s Futures Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna

Introduction to the topic: Aurel Laurențiu Plosceanu, member of the EESC Employers' Group and president of the EESC Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC)


  • Christine Dugoin-Clément, geo-political analyst, associate researcher, "standards and risks" chair, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Régis Genté, journalist, co-author of the book Volodymyr Zelensky: in the mind of a hero
  • Viktoriia Romaniuk, deputy editor-in chief of, deputy director of Kyiv's Mohyla School of Journalism
  • Tim Weber, executive director and head of editorial at Edelman UK, former business and technology editor of BBC Online, expert in Russian disinformation

12.00 - 1.00 p.m. Lunch break

1.00 - 3.00 pm Panel III – The energy revolution between the war and climate objectives, challenges to the Green Deal

Moderated by: Domagoj Novokmet, journalist, senior editor and anchor at TV N1/CNN exclusive news channel affiliate

Introduction to the topic: Oliver Röpke, President of the EESC Workers' Group


  • Igor Grozdanić, energy expert, researcher, energy sector and strategic projects director at Croatian company Turbomehanika d.d.
  • Jaroslaw Pietras, energy specialist, a Visiting Fellow at the Wilfried Martens Centre, former Director general in the Council of the EU
  • Zion Lights, science communicator, author and climate activist, former Extinction Rebellion spokesperson
  • Clare Taylor, science communicator, journalist and policy  analyst specialised in energy and environment

3.00 - 3.15 pm Closing statement

  • Cillian Lohan, EESC Vice-President

Simultaneous interpreting in English, French and Croatian