Luca Jahier

Luca Jahier has been at the European Economic and Social Committee since 2002 and is currently president of Group III 'Various Interests', and a member of the SOC and ECO sections. The most recent opinions he has drafted as rapporteur include: perspectives for Africa's social economy; cooperation between the EU, Africa and China; the statute for European political parties; the implementation of Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union on participatory democracy; the social dimension of EMU; and improving the functioning of the EU by building on the Lisbon Treaty (exploratory opinion requested by the European Parliament).


Luca was president of FOCSIV (the Italian federation of development cooperation NGOs) from 1994 to 2000 and was among the founders of the Italian Third Sector Forum. Between 2008 and 2012, he was president of the national council of ACLI (Christian Associations of Italian Workers), which promotes employment and active participation in social life, through its network of local branches, services, enterprises and ad-hoc projects.

Jacki Davis (Chair)

Jacki Davis is a leading commentator on EU Union affairs. She is an experienced journalist, speaker and moderator of high-level events in Brussels and other EU countries, the editor of many publications, a regular broadcaster on television and radio, and is on the European Policy Centre think tank’s governing board. She was previously the EPC’s Communications Director, editor-in-chief of E!Sharp magazine, and launch editor of European Voice, a Brussels-based weekly newspaper on EU affairs.


Robert Adam

Robert Adam has been the director of the Romanian Cultural Institute Brussels since 2010. He is an expert in international cultural relations and communications. He holds a PhD in political science from the Université libre de Bruxelles, with a thesis on national populism. Having studied literature and political science in Romania and France (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Sciences Po, Sorbonne), he has lived and worked in Romania, France and Belgium. As a journalist, he has worked for the written press and radio stations in Romania and France. He has also translated from French and English into Romanian. He was a member of the first permanent team of EUNIC, the network of European national institutes for culture between 2009 and 2011, president of the EUNIC Brussels cluster (2015) and member of the European and Eastern Partnership EUNIC strategy groups.












Jo Beggs

Jo Beggs has extensive experience in capital and revenue fundraising. She currently heads up the development teams across Manchester City Galleries, Manchester Museum and the Whitworth. Jo has been part of the Whitworth’s transformation into one of the UK’s most exciting art spaces. The £15m capital development, which has been five years in the making, and which opened in February, is set to propel the gallery’s excellent reputation even further.


Jo’s diverse career has included festival management, theatre fundraising and PR, museum education and pub management. In her spare time she is a theatre reviewer and printmaker.








Luca Bergamo

Luca has been the secretary-general of Culture Action Europe since March 2012. For the first ten years of his career, Luca was a specialist in artificial intelligence and IT. Since 1994, he has switched his focus to people. Along with Zone Attive, the company established by the city of Rome upon his proposal, Luca has conceived and driven some of Italy’s most revolutionary cultural initiatives.


In 2004, he was appointed director-general of the Glocal Forum, an international foundation promoting peace dialogue in post-conflict areas through local diplomacy and cultural cooperation. In 2007, he was called to lead the launch of the Italian National Agency for Youth (ANG). Under his leadership, the ANG launched a global initiative to support youth activism for sustainable development worldwide. He has built a coalition involving major United Nations agencies and over 1 300 civil society organisations from 104 countries.

Cristian Carrara

Cristian Carrara is a composer and the chairman of the culture, education, social policies, youth and sport committee of Lazio Region. He founded the Italian youth forum (Forum Nazionale dei Giovani) in 2003 and was its first spokesperson until 2009. As a member of ACLI (Italian catholic workers association) he became president of ACLI Provincial Rome (2011-2013). From 2011 to 2013 he was general director of the Achille Grandi Foundation for the common good.


Cristian is considered to be one of the most original composers of his generation. He writes mainly symphonic and chamber music, but also works for musical theatre and television.









Silvia Costa

Silvia Costa graduated in modern literature from the University of Rome. She has worked as a professional journalist, city counsellor and member of the school and culture committees. As a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, she served on the internal affairs and culture, science and education committees, and was deputy-minister for university, scientific and technological research. From 2005 until 2009, she was Lazio's regional minister for education, access to study and training.


Silvia Costa is currently in her second term as a Member of the European Parliament. She has been chair of the Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education since 2014, and a substitute member of its Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.


Jean-Charles de Cordes

Jean-Charles de Cordes has a degree in law and a master's in political science from the Université Catholique de Louvain. He has 20 years of experience in international organisations. He has worked notably for the Belgian General Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons (1993-1997), the UN Department for peace keeping operations in Croatia and Western Sahara (1997-1999), the UNDP (1999-2000) and the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the Council of Europe (2001-2002). He joined the Council of Europe in 2002. After having worked in political and legal affairs in Strasbourg headquarters, he joined the Council of Europe's EU Office in 2012, as the head of programme coordination.  


Luís Miguel de Matos Abreu dos Santos

Luís Miguel de Matos Abreu dos Santos (artistic name: Miguel Abreu) studied law and theatre. He is an actor and producer, and director of Festival TODOS – Path of Worlds. He has been president of the Association Academia de Produtores Culturais since 1999 and has directed the cultural production agency Cassefaz since 1987.


Cultural justice in Portugal is one of Miguel's main concerns; without active culture there can be no social or economic development. He has published three books: Stage Arts Handbook I, Stage Arts Handbook II and Stage and Visual Arts Guide.











Paul Dujardin

Paul Dujardin has been CEO and artistic director of the Centre for Fine Arts of Brussels (BOZAR) since 2002. Under his leadership, BOZAR has turned into a respected and internationally recognised European cultural hub of the 21st century, attracting around 1.3 million visitors each year and playing a crucial role as a meeting place for the various international communities established in Belgium and for the European Union. A fervent defender of the European project, Paul Dujardin has worked tirelessly to ensure that BOZAR would become a key player in the area of international cultural exchange and a defender of the European cultural values at the core of the European project.


Paul is a leading figure in Europe’s cultural landscape. Through his various positions, he has been able to create a series of initiatives, projects and organisations that crystallise a true willingness for artistic excellence and dialogue between citizens, artists and policy-makers across Europe and beyond.









Bernd Fesel

Bernd Fesel studied economics and philosophy in Heidelberg and Bonn from 1983 to 1990 and graduated with an economics degree. In 1990, he started his career in the art market as co-owner of the Gallery Karin Fesel, becoming, in 1997, managing director of the German and then the European Gallery Association in Brussels. In 2003, he founded the Bureau for Cultural Policy and Economy and served as advisor to the German UNESCO Commission and the German Federal Foreign Office.


Bernd organised the first national conference on creative industries in Berlin from 2004 to 2010 and initiated the European Creative Industries Summit in Brussels in 2009. He has worked since 2009 as senior advisor to the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 and since 2011 at the european centre for creative economy (ecce) in Dortmund, a sustainable follow-up institution stemming from RUHR.2010. Bernd Fesel is managing director of the European Creative Business Network (ECBN) in Rotterdam and board member of the ENCATC in Brussels.

Lotte Knudsen

Lotte Knudsen was appointed as Managing Director Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues for the EEAS in 2015. Before, she was Director for Human Development and Migration in DG DEVCO, and Director for Criminal Justice in DG Justice. Lotte has worked in different services in the Commission, including the Secretariat General, External Relations, Enlargement and as an Assistant. Ms Knudsen attended the College of Europe and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

Dimitri Konstantinidis

Dimitri Konstantinidis has a PhD in archaeology and history of art from Strasbourg II University. He has been in charge of Artothèque and the ACBHL exhibitions, was director of the FRAC Alsace (regional collection of contemporary art) and leader of the Council of Europe programme European art exchanges with countries of central and eastern Europe.


Dimitri founded the association apollonia, european art exchanges and has been its director since 1998. Over the past 25 years, he has initiated and curated hundreds of exhibitions and artistic events all over Europe, in the Caucasus region and elsewhere. He has been the author of many articles and studies on contemporary art creation, cooperation and exchanges in Europe.











Kathrin Merkle

Kathrin Merkle heads the culture and democracy division of the Directorate of Democratic Governance at the Council of Europe and oversees the organisation’s innovative work on culture and democracy indicators and culture and digitisation. She coordinates cultural policy reviews and the Compendium information system.


Kathrin has edited numerous cultural policy publications and a reference work on everyday culture. She also teaches European Cultural Policy at the University of Strasbourg. Before joining the Council of Europe, Kathrin worked for a number of years with UNESCO Statistics.              

Katarzyna Mlynczak-Sachs

Katarzyna Mlynczak-Sachs has a PhD in Political Science, and has received many international research grants and scholarships in Germany and the Netherlands. She is currently working for the Office of the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016 as head of the international relations department and is responsible for promoting Wroclaw outside of Poland.


Katarzyna has been engaged in activities and projects enhancing culture and management of cultural events. She closely cooperated with institutions like the Krzyzowa Foundation for Mutual Understanding and the Ossolinski National Institute. For many years, she has been allied with Art Transparent Contemporary Art Foundation that mainly concentrates on presenting art in public space.

Jens Nymand Christensen

Jens Nymand Christensen was born in Denmark, and has a master's degree in business administration. Currently, he is deputy director-general for Education and Culture at the European Commission. He has worked at the European institutions since 1979, including as director in the Commission's secretariat-general from 2003-2014, and previously as a member of the private office of vice-president Henning Christophersen and head of unit for the area of International Food, Veterinary and Phytosanitary matters.



Tinkara Oblak

Tinkara Oblak is a graduate student of political science in the University of Ljubljana. She was active in the political youth organisation The Youth of the European People's Party, and is currently a board member of the European Youth Forum, responsible for employment, EU institutions and advocacy and EURO MED cooperation. The European Youth Forum is the European umbrella organisation that unites over 100 youth councils and international non-governmental youth organisations. She also works as public affairs and HR assistant in GE, where she is responsible for the creation and implementation of quality opportunities for young people entering the labour market.


Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer works as an international consultant expert on projects dealing with events and festivals, cultural planning and policy, and urban revitalisation through cultural development in cities, as well as on issues that focus on the creative economy and cultural industries.


His most recent book is Eventful cities: Cultural management and urban revitalisation (2010). In a career that has spanned 40 years, Robert Palmer has been the director of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage for the Council of Europe, where he managed programmes across 48 European countries (2006-2013). Prior to that he was the director of Brussels, European Capital of Culture (2000) and Glasgow, European Capital of Culture (1990), and the author of a major study for the European Commission on cities that received the designation of Capital of Culture (2004).









Jordi Pascual

Jordi Pascual is the coordinator of the Committee on Culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), also known as UCLG - Agenda 21 for culture, since 2004. He also teaches urban cultural policies and management at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). He writes on cultural rights, cultural governance and cultural policies in sustainable urban development.


Jordi has been a member of the selection panel for the European Capital of Culture for 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016. He has been one of the leaders of the global campaign #culture2015goal. His recent publications include Culture and Sustainable Development: Examples of institutional innovation and proposals for a new cultural policy profile (UCLG-UNESCO) and On citizen participation in local cultural policy development for European cities (European Cultural Foundation).









Paolo Petrocelli

Paolo Petrocelli is a cultural entrepreneur driven by the belief that the arts and arts education are a major force for growth, development and change globally.

In order to serve as an active citizen and support non-profit activity, he has become a leading member of some of the most prestigious international organisations. He is the co-founder and president of the Youth Committee of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO. As a music diplomacy ambassador, he serves in institutional roles to forge bonds through music in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the US.


Petrocelli is the founder and president of EMMA for Peace (Euro-Mediterranean Music Academy for Peace), an international non-profit umbrella organisation for the promotion of music diplomacy, that brings together world renowned artists and major institutions, under the shared passion for music and the promotion of peace.

Rita Linda Potyondi

Rita Linda Potyondi has been working in the Hungarian civil field for 11 years.

After working as an arthouse cinema exhibitor and distributor, she found her career at Krétakör Foundation. Krétakör connects art and politics, social activism and performativity, innovation and collective services, education and research. Addressing local and current issues without limiting the sources it can acquire information from, it aims to be as open as possible so that others can open up too. Krétakör develops professional knowledge addressing challenging issues .

Carolino Tapadejo

Carolino Tapadejo is a social projects manager and local history researcher. He has previously been mayor of Castelo de Vide in Portugal and manager of a number of social organisations. He studied management by objectives and local development.


Carolino has been elevated to the rank of Commander and High Official of the 'Ordem do Infante D. Henrique'. He was awarded a medal from the Four Synagogues of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the national prize for conservation of nature.

Kathleen Weyts

Kathleen Weyts was responsible for marketing, communications and public relations at M HKA, the Antwerp Museum for Contemporary Art, for eight years. She was educated in communication and cultural sciences and intercultural management. She gained experience at, among others, the International Film Festival Ghent, the International Arts Centre Vooruit, the Provincial Museum of Modern Art Ostend (PMMK), the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, Van Dyck 1999, the 5th Moscow Biennial for Contemporary Art.


Kathleen is working as a consultant for several cultural institutions and is a guest teacher at the Bruges Business School and the Antwerp Management School. She curated the exhibition Trenches in Africa 1914-1918 and has contributed to several art publications. In 2015, she coordinated the exhibition European Ghosts – the representation of art from Africa in the twentieth century for Mu.zee, Ostend. Recently, she curated Imagine Europe. In Search of New Narratives and coordinated the Europe project for BOZAR, Brussels.


Phil Wood

Phil Wood is an independent writer and researcher on urban policy and culture. He has worked at a senior level in UK local government and was the director of the Creative Town Initiative, an EU urban pilot project. Since 2000, he has worked in over 40 countries as a consultant. He has advised the UK Government Creative Industries Task Force on regional issues and finance, and worked with the Commission on Integration and Cohesion.


Phil is principal advisor to the Council of Europe on its Intercultural Cities network of 90 cities and architect of its methodology. He is the author of The intercultural city: planning for diversity advantage (with Charles Landry) published in 2008 by Routledge.