Hans Gert Pöttering

President of the European Parliament Former Members Association and EP Former President.

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.


Director of Growth and Innovation at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission 

Mikel Landabaso works in the European Commission since 1990. He is Director of Growth & Innovation in the Joint Research Centre in Seville since December 2019. Mikel was Director of Strategy and Corporate Communication in DG Communication 2016-2019, responsible for the design and implementation of the new generation of EU Corporate Campaigns. During 2014-2015, he was Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Regional Policy. He received the 2004 “Christiane Bom Award” by the European Regional Development Agencies Association – EURADA. He has been part-time lecturer at the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) during years 2000-7, University of Deusto 1988-1990 and the Basque Public University 1987-88. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (U.S.A.) under the EU Fellowship program (2000).

Mikel Landabaso is PhD in Economics (University of the Basque Country 1994, Spain), M.A. in Development Economics (University of East Anglia 1983-84, U.K.), Diploma in Advanced European Studies, with a scholarship from the Basque Government (College of Europe 1985-86, Belgium) and Licenciado en Ciencias Economicas (Universidad del Pais Vasco, 1978-1983).  He did with senior year of Highschool at Moundsview High (Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1977-78, U.S.A.) with an AFS scholarship.

Visiting Fellow at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies 

Konrad Niklewicz joined the Martens Centre as a Visiting Fellow in December 2016. He is a Ph.D. graduate in the field of the social sciences (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Political Sciences and Journalism). After his spell at the Martens Centre, Konrad spent time working as university lecturer and is now in marketing.

He previously served as Spokesperson for the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Regional Development. Before joining the government, he was both a journalist and an editor for the  foreign/economic section of Gazeta Wyborcza, the leading Polish daily newspaper. Between 2005 and 2007 he was the journal’s Brussels correspondent.


Former MEP and Special adviser to the Foundation of European Progressive Studies on the European Green Deal 

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Chair at the EUI School of Transnational Governance and Director of the School’s executive education programme. Professor of International Political Economy. 

George Papaconstantinou is Professor of International Political Economy and Director for Executive Education at the School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute, where he is also co-directing the Transformation of Global Governance project. He was born in Athens in 1961, and studied economics in the UK and the US, obtaining a Ph.D in Economics from the London School of Economics. He worked for 10 years at the OECD in Paris as a senior economist, and subsequently returned to Greece to serve in a policy advisory capacity for the government. In 2007, he was elected to the Greek Parliament, and in 2009 to the European Parliament.

In October 2009 he was appointed Finance Minister and from that position he played a key role in the Greek crisis, negotiating the first Greek bailout. Subsequently, as Minister of Environment and Energy, he pursued policies to advance Greece’s sustainable growth agenda. His book on the crisis Game Over: The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis, has been published in Greek, English and German. His recently published new book Whatever It Takes – The Battle for Post-Crisis Europe debates the lessons from the Eurozone crisis for the governance of the EU and the euro in the context of current challenges.


Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on the policy challenges and budgetary resources for a sustainable European Union after 2013 (2010-2011), Vice-Chair (2002-2004) and member (1999-2014) of the Committee on Budgets 


Co-President of the Green European Foundation, Coordinator of Oikos, the Flemish green Think Tank for social-ecological change 

Dirk Holemans is the Co-President of the Green European Foundation (GEF), and Co-founder and Director of Oikos, the Flemish green Think Tank that aims for social-ecological change. Building a collaborative ecological economy is at the heart of the organisation’s activities. It researches and inspires new citizens’ initiatives. He is also editor-in-chief of the Oikos’ eponymous journal. He has previously been Member of Parliament (Flanders) and city councilor (Ghent) for the green party. He worked as researcher and lecturer at different universities in Europe. His main interests are ecological economy, commons, green cities and political ecology.

He wrote for GEF the publication “Freedom & Society. Towards a social-ecological society” (available in En/Fr/De/Hu/Sp). Affiliated with the Centre for Research on Environmental and Social Change of the University of Antwerp, he is conducting research on the role of citizens’ initiatives in building a new economy.

Moderator: Brian Maguire

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.