Journalist, Former Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Ibero-America and the Caribbean

Cristina Gallach Figueras was appointed as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean in 2020. Prior to her appointment as State Secretary, she was the High Commissioner of the Government of Spain for the 2030 Agenda (2018-2020). Figueras is a Senior European Union Official on a leave of absence and was Head of the Equal Opportunities Office of the Council of the European Union in Brussels (2017-2018). She was Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General (2017) and Head of Department for Public Information, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Communications and Public Information (2015-2017). Figueras was also Head of Public Relations and Spokesperson for the Council of the European Union (2014).



(PhD MIT) Professor of Economics at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University

John Hassler (PhD MIT) is Professor of Economics at the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University. His research has covered areas of dynamic public finance, social mobility, growth and climate change. His work has been published in American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory and many other influential international journals. He is since 2009 member of the Prize Committee for the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He was the Chairman of the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council 2013-16 and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

He worked as advisor to the Swedish Ministry of Finance during the financial crisis and serves as scientific advisor to several Swedish government agencies. He was member of the European Economic Advisory Group between 2008 and 2012. He has also been a member of the Bellagio group of academics and central bankers.



Co-President of the Green European Foundation

Dirk Holemans (° 1965) is coordinator of Oikos, the think-tank that strives for socio-ecological change by feeding the social debate with inspiring publications, informative lectures and international conferences. Dirk is also editor-in-chief of the eponymous quarterly magazine and parliamentary adviser. Besides that, hij is doctoral researcher affiliated with the University of Antwerp.

Previously, Dirk worked as a researcher and teacher at various universities. Later, he became a member of the Flemish Parliament and for 20 years he was active as a local mandatary for Groen in Ghent. Within the European network, he is active as co-chairman of the Green European Foundation.

He lives in Ghent, together with his wife and two studying daughters. His op-ed pieces regularly appear in the media. In 2012 he published the book Mensen maken de stad. Bouwstenen voor een sociaalecologische toekomst (“People make the city. Building blocks for a socio-ecological future”). In 2016 he published Vrijheid & Zekerheid (“Freedom & Security. Towards a socio-ecological society”), a year later the essay Freedom & Security in a Complex World (translated into D / F / H). In 2018 he was the co-editor of Op grond van samenwerking. Woningen, voedsel en trage wegen als heruitgevonden commons (“On the basis of cooperation. Housing, food and slow roads like reinvented commons”).

He graduated as a bio-engineer and later broadened his horizons with studies in philosophy (candidacy) and management (master in business economics).


Journalist and moderator of the event

Brian Maguire is Brian Maguire is a Brussels-based journalist, producer and broadcaster, he specialises in European politics and business; producing short documentary films exploring Europe’s
competing policy dimensions. He hosts live radio and television debates with European Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament and independent experts, and was co-anchor for one of the live European Presidential debates during the 2014 elections. He also presents the EURACTIV series ‘The Presidency’ and ‘Over A Coffee’.
A graduate in Government and Law, he has worked across a broad range of publications, especially within the business-to-business sector. A specialist in corporate and political communications, his clients include start-ups, SMEs, blue chip companies, and NGOs with a human rights focus.

Hans Gert POTTERING  President of the European Parliament from January 2007 until July 2009


President of the FMA and Former President of the European Parliament

Hans-Gert Pöttering is a German politician (CDU) and was the longest serving member of the European Parliament (EP) since its first direct election in 1979. His mandate ended on July 1st 2014 – after 35 years of uninterrupted membership. Dr. Pöttering held a number of leading positions in the EP and European People’s Party throughout his political career. From 1999 to 2007 he was Chairman of the European People’s Party-European Democrats Group in the European Parliament. From 2007 until 2009 he served as President of the European Parliament. He initiated the House of European History which was opened in Brussels in May 2017.
Dr. Pöttering has published widely on various issues of European affairs. His autobiography titled “Wir sind zu unserem Glück vereint – Mein europäischer Weg” (2014) has been translated into various languages.
He is currently the President of the European Parliament Former Members Association (FMA).
He was chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) from 1.1.2010-1.1.2018. Now he is Representative for European affairs on behalf of the KAS.


Professor Jos Marie R. DELBEKE

EUI’s first European Investment Bank Chair on Climate Change Policy and International Carbon Markets (‘EIB Climate Chair’) at School of Transnational Governance. Part-time Professor at STG and full Professor at KU Leuven- Belgium

Jos Delbeke is STG part-time Professor and full Professor at KU Leuven in Belgium. In September 2020, he was appointed as the EUI’s first European Investment Bank Chair on Climate Change Policy and International Carbon Markets (‘EIB Climate Chair’). Jos Delbeke is the former Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Climate Action (2010 until 2018). He holds a PhD in economics (Leuven).

Jos Delbeke was heavily involved in setting the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2020 and 2030, and was a key player in developing EU legislation on the Emissions Trading System (ETS), cars and fuels, air quality, emissions from big industrial installations and chemicals (REACH). As an economist, he underlined the role of market-based instruments and of cost-benefit analysis in the field of the environment. He has been responsible for developing Europe’s International Climate Change strategy and was for several years the European Commission’s chief negotiator at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties. In that capacity he played a key role on the EU’s implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and in the negotiations on the Paris Agreement.

Research Projects and Working groups



 Senior Political Adviser at European People’s Party, focusing on the EU’s environmental, energy and agricultural policies

Eva Patrashkova is a senior political adviser who has worked for the European People’s Party since 2012, focusing on the EU’s environmental, energy and agricultural policies. During the 2016 Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU, she worked for the Slovak government and chaired the negotiations on the EU ETS review. She holds MA degrees in transatlantic studies (University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill / Sciences Po in Paris) and in European studies (Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia).

Dasa 2


President, European Partners for the Environment. Chair, International Board, CEE Network for Gender Issues

Daša Šašić Šilović is an expert on democracy, human rights social and environmental issues and green growth (UN SDG 2030 agenda) and the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 especially in the Balkans. She has initiated and manages the “Korčula School – transforming politics through a gender lens”, a think tank focusing on gender equality priorities and women’s human rights in South Eastern Europe, organised by the CEE Network for Gender Issues. Her expertise also extends to development cooperation, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Currently she is Chair and founder of the International Board, CEE Network Gender for Gender Issues, a regional organisation, with offices in Budapest, Belgrade and Zagreb. She is currently Chair of the European Partners for the Environment and Europe 2030 group, and was previously also member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ESAC Committee and represents the Network at the newly established NATO Civil Society Advisory Panel (CSAP).

Until 2012, she was Associate Partner at Optimis, a Swiss based consulting group (; Senior Coordination Officer with UN/OPCW Joint Mission in Cyprus; acting senior advisor to the UN Assistant Secretary General and Assistant UNDP Administrator (Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy) on issues relating to development cooperation partnerships; for thirteen years Senior Policy Advisor on development cooperation at UNDP (Bureau for Development Policy/BDP) and prior to that Senior Gender Advisor at UNDP (BDP) both in New York.In her professional life she was also adjunct professor at SIPA, Columbia University and researcher at CUNY Graduate Center, New York; Commentator on international affairs at World Affairs TV, Montreal, Canada; consultant with the International Peace Institute (formerly Academy) in New York; member of international boards and committees, most notably the New York based US Foreign Policy Association Off-the-Record Lectures Series and Network 20/20.Ms Šašić Šilović is author of “The Diplomatic Kitchen” (“Diplomatska kuhinja”) a book on diplomacy, politics and cooking.



Secretary General of the European Parliament

Klaus Welle (born 3 July 1964) is a German politician who has served as Secretary-General of the European Parliament, Luxembourg, since 15 March 2009. He was previously Head of the Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering MEP, from January 2007 to 2009. He succeeded Harald Rømer, a Danish career civil servant, who had reached retirement age. From 2004 to 2007, he worked as Director-General for Internal Policies in the European Parliament. From 1999 to 2003 he was Secretary-General of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels and from 1994-1999 he was Secretary-General of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the European Union of Christian Democrats (EUCD). From 1991 to 1994 he was Head of the European and Foreign Policy Department at the CDU Central Office, Bonn.