PROFILE OF SPEAKERS
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.
President of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Mikuláš Dzurinda was elected president of the WMCES in December 2013. He is the former prime minister of Slovakia (1998-2006) and has held various positions in government since first entering politics in 1990. Once he became prime minister and formed a coalition government in 1998, Dzurinda introduced far-reaching reforms which have enabled Slovakia to begin the process of joining the EU and NATO. After being re-elected in 2002, Dzurinda led Slovakia to become a member of the EU and NATO in 2004, a process which he actively took part in from the beginning. Since Slovakia gained independence in 1993, Dzurinda has also held the position of Minister of Transportation and more recently that of Minister for Foreign Affairs (from July 2010 to April 2012). Dzurinda is a founding member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS) and was chairman of the party from 2000 to 2012. From 2012 to 2016 he was a member of the Slovak Parliament. In 2007 he was awarded the F.A. Hayek International Prize for reforms and fight against bureaucracy. He is also a marathon runner.
Maria João RODRIGUES
President of the European Foundation of Progressive Studies
Maria João Rodrigues – former Portuguese minister of Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, is a European politician with a long track in all European institutions: EU Presidencies, Council, European Council, European Commission and, more recently, European Parliament. She played a relevant role is several big European initiatives: the EU growth and jobs strategy, the Lisbon Treaty, the Eurozone reform, the European Social Pillar, the interface with EU external strategic partners and the Roadmap for EU’s future.
Since 2017 is the President of the European Foundation of Progressive Studies (FEPS), the only progressive think tank at the European level, formed by forty national member foundations across Europe.
Recently, she was Vice-President of S&D Group in the European Parliament, a parliamentary group with 189 members from all Member States, where she was in charge of the coordination of the parliamentary work and the inter-institutional negotiation on the EU agenda.
As an academic, she is full professor and was the Chair of the European Commission Board for socio-economic research. She has around one hundred publications and as expert and politician, has done more than two thousands conferences across Europe and the world.
President of the European Liberal Forum
Jürrgen Martens is a German lawyer and politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Born in Munich, Bavaria, he has been serving as a member of the Bundestag since 2017.
In Parliament, he is a member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection. In addition to his committee assignments, Martens is part of the German-French Parliamentary Friendship Group. Since 2019, he has been a member of the German delegation to the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly.
He is currently President of the European Liberal Forum.
Co-President of the Green European Foundation
Susanne Rieger has been responsible for European issues and European relations in the Catalan Green foundation Fundació Nous Horitzons (FNH) for the past ten years. Since 2009, she is also member of the Board of FNH. She has been delegate to the GEF General Assembly since the founding of GEF. For the second time she holds the mandate of GEF Co-president. From a professional point of view, Susanne has been dealing with issues of political education, capacity building, political and public discussions and communication structures on the European level for the past twenty years. She is based in Barcelona and works as a coach and consultant in different European countries.
President of the European University Institute
Renaud Dehousse is President of the EUI. Previously, he was Jean Monnet Professor of European Law and Political Science at Sciences Po, where he founded and directed the Centre for European Studies. He also chaired Sciences Po’s Governing Council 2013-2016. Before moving to Sciences Po, Professor Dehousse held professorships at the EUI and at the University of Pisa. He is a scientific advisor to Notre Europe, the centre for research founded by Jacques Delors. Professor Dehousse has been a member of several working parties on the reform of European institutions established by the European Commission and the French Government.
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.