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Please contact James Wilmott on +44 (0) 2920 783 022 or email if you would like to discuss the event.


Tuesday 24 January, 2017


09:00 – 09:30


09:30 – 09:40

Welcome and introduction

Paul Adamson, Founder and Editor, E!Sharp; Chairman, Forum Europe

09:40 – 10:15

YouGov Poll Results and Analysis

Marcus Roberts, International Projects Director, YouGov

10:15 – 11:00

More, or less, the same? Defining the future role of the European Union

How does the European Union demonstrate its legitimacy and relevance to the citizens of member states? Has Brussels, as former President Obama recently stated, become “too isolated from the normal push-and-pull of national politics”? Would solutions such as that proposed by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag concerning a continental partnership offer a realistic alternative to full EU membership, and would this not turn the heads of some current, more reluctant members, fracturing further the fragile Union?

10:15 – 10:30

Keynote Speech

Nick Clegg MP for Sheffield Hallam, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union; Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Liberal Democrats

10:30 – 11:00

In conversation session

Nick Clegg MP, in conversation with John Peet, Political Editor, The Economist

11:00 – 11:20

Coffee Break

11:20 – 12:30

Free Movement: Does the EU stand in the way of security?

At the Bratislava summit in September 2016, European Council President Donald Tusk declared that EU citizens too often “heard politically correct statements that Europe cannot become a fortress, that it must remain open”, and that the "new images every day of hundreds of thousands of people moving across our continent without any control, created a feeling of threat among many Europeans."

The free movement of EU citizens was already subject to much criticism, and was one of the central issues of the recent Brexit debate in the UK. The migration crisis, with thousands of people arriving in Europe, mainly from Syria and principally to escape war, added to the sense that borders in Europe were porous.

What does the future of free movement look like? What might we lose if this principle was withdrawn permanently? Has free movement played a role in allowing terrorists to move within Europe unhindered? What lessons can Europe learn from the recent attacks in Paris, Belgium, Nice and Germany?

Is it possible to reconcile European values, particularly the principle of free-movement of European citizens, with the rise in populist politics which calls for a greater emphasis on the national?

11:20 – 11:35

The Cost of Non-Europe: Schengen

Stijn Hoorens, Associate Director, Head of the Brussels Office, RAND Europe

11:35 – 11:50

Tackling the Migration Crisis

Giacomo Persi Paoli, Research Leader - Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group, RAND Europe

11:50 – 12:30

In conversation session

Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King's College London; Senior Fellow, UK in a Changing Europe
Sophie Magennis, Head of Policy & Legal Support Unit, Bureau for Europe, UNHCR
Giacamo Persi Paoli, Research Leader - Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group, RAND Europe
Stijn Hoorens, Associate Director, Head of the Brussels Office, RAND Europe

In conversation with Alex Barker, Brussels Bureau Chief, Financial Times


12:30 – 13:00

A New Reality for Transatlantic Relations

Steven Erlanger, London Bureau Chief, The New York Times, in conversation with John E. Frank, Vice President EU Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation.

13:00 – 14:10


14:10 – 14:45

In conversation session

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, in conversation with Paul Adamson, Founder and Editor, E!Sharp; Chairman, Forum Europe

14:45 – 15:30

Restoring Trust: Politics, Press and Public Authorities

Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman
Neena Gill, MEP, European Parliament
Jennifer Rankin, Brussels correspondent, The Guardian

In conversation with Carl Dolan, Director of Transparency International EU, Transparency International

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:00

Trading Blows: The EU, globalisation and civilising capitalism

Proponents of economic globalisation have made separate but similar calls to address growing economic inequality and job insecurity. At the recent G20 in China, Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian PM, spoke of the need to “civilise capitalism”, while Ji Jinping, the Chinese President in his speech in Davos last week stated that “we should adapt to and guide economic globalisation, cushion its negative impact, and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations..”

To what extent can capitalism be blamed for the rise in economic populism in Europe? Are the EU’s proposed trade deals with the US and Canada, regardless of whether these trade deals might be positive, simply reinforcing the belief that the EU is out of touch with its citizens? What role is there for the EU in ensuring that globalisation serves the many and not the few, and how might its institutions interact at the national level to ensure that their economies serve all their citizens, where, as some have claimed, EU member states are too quick to blame Brussels for national economic woes? Will recent trade defence proposals from the European Commission protect or damage European jobs?

16:00 – 16:15

Keynote Speech

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President, European Commission

16:15 – 17:00

In conversation session

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission, Responsible for Jobs, Growth and Investment
Monique Goyens, Director General, BEUC
Simon Tilford, Deputy Director, Centre for European Reform
Hendrik Bourgeois, General Counsel Europe & Vice President European Affairs, GE

In conversation with Stephen Fidler, Brussels Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal

17:00 – 17:45

Innovation and science as engines of growth - where is Europe's potential?

The legacy of President Jean-Claude Juncker may well be defined by his success in delivering Europe from the Eurozone crisis. But what tools does the EU really have at its disposal to ensure Europe’s prosperity? Do we expect Europe’s jobs and growth agenda to be a success? How does Europe balance the necessity to remain globally competitive with its social welfare “obligations”? Is the proliferation and fusion of digital and cyber technologies across global economies a force for good, or are we simply accepting technological advancement at any cost? Is Europe ready for the 4th industrial revolution and if not, what needs to be done?

Mike Galsworthy, Programme Director, Scientists for EU
Fredrik Erixon, Director, ECIPE
Liam Benham, Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM Europe
Per Sandberg, Project leader, Statoil Research & Technology

In conversation with David Shukman, Science Editor, BBC

17:45 – 17:50

Conference close

Paul Adamson, Founder and Editor, E!Sharp; Chairman, Forum Europe

17:50 – 22:00

Cocktail reception and opening of the political cartoon gallery

Introduction from the artist, Peter Schrank, Political Cartoonist

E!Sharp in conversations



Tuesday 24 January, 2017
09.00 to 18.00




Steigenberger Wiltcher's

71 Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: +32 2 54242 42

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Nick Clegg ESharp Live 2017



Forum Europe