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Jyrki  Katainen

Jyrki Katainen

Vice President, European Commission


As lead of the project team "Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness", Jyrki Katainen is responsible for delivering the new jobs, growth and investment programme, which will mobilise up to €300 billion in additional public and private investment in the real economy over the next three years. Additionally, he is pursuing structural reforms in EU countries and ensuring, together with the Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, that the EU's economic policy coordination is successful and takes account of the social impacts of reforms whilst helping to improve the business environment to make Europe a more attractive place in which to work and invest.

Before assuming his role as Commission Vice-President, Katainen was a member of the Finnish Parliament, most recently serving as Prime Minister from 2011-14 and Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister from 2007-11.

Margrethe Vestager

Margrethe Vestager

European Commissioner for Competition,


- European commissioner for Competition 2014 – Present
- Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior 2011 – 2014
- Political leader of the Social Liberal Party 2011 – 2014
- Political leader of the Social Liberal Party and Chairwoman of the parliamentary group 2007 – 2011
- Member of Parliament for the Social Liberal party in North Zealand greater constituency 2007 – 2014
- Member of Parliament for the Social Liberal party in Frederiksborg County constituency 2001 – 2007
- Minister for Education 2000 – 2001
- Minister for Education and Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs 1998 – 2000
- Head of secretariat with the Agency for Financial Management and Administrative Affairs 1997 – 1998
- Special consultant with the Agency for Financial Management and Administrative Affairs 1995 – 1997
- Head of section at the Ministry of Finance 1993 – 1995
- Master of Science in Economics, University of Copenhagen 1993

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

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


Nick Clegg grew up in Buckinghamshire with his two brothers and sister. His mother is Dutch and his father is half Russian, which influenced Nick's internationalist outlook and linguistic ability – he speaks French, German, Spanish and Dutch.

Nick studied Social Anthropology at Cambridge and afterwards continued his postgraduate studies at the University of Minnesota and the College of Europe in Bruges – where his met his wife, Miriam, with whom he now has three sons. Nick then spent some time in New York, working as a trainee journalist with Christopher Hitchens, as a consultant in London, and in Budapest writing about economic reform having won a prize from the Financial Times. Later Nick moved to Brussels where he worked for five years for the European Commission. His job included managing aid projects in Central Asia following the collapse of communism and acting as a trade negotiator with China and Russia as a senior member of Leon Brittan’s office, then Vice President of the EC.

In 1999 Nick was elected Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands - the first liberal Parliamentarian in the whole region since the 1930s. As an MEP, he co-founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform, which led calls for reforms to expenses, transparency and accountability in the European Parliament. He was also the Trade and Industry Spokesman for the Liberal group of MEPs and piloted a radical new law breaking up telecoms monopolies.

Nick lectured part-time at Sheffield and Cambridge Universities before being elected as Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam in 2005.

He became Europe spokesman in Charles Kennedy’s shadow cabinet, acting as deputy to Menzies (Ming) Campbell. When Ming won the 2006 leadership election, he became Shadow Home Secretary. In this position, Nick led the Liberal Democrats’ defence of civil liberties, proposing a Freedom Bill to repeal unnecessary and illiberal legislation, campaigned against ID Cards and the retention of innocent people’s DNA, and argued against excessive counter-terrorism legislation.

Nick was elected leader of the Liberal Democrats in December 2007. Following the election in 2010, Nick took the party into government as part of the first Coalition in the UK since the Second World War, where he put Liberal Democrat policies into practice for the first time – the £800 income tax cut, the £2.5b pupil premium, legislating for gay marriage, introducing shared parental leave, the list goes on and on.

Nick stood down as leader in 2015, after which Tim Farron was elected.

Monique Goyens

Monique Goyens

Director General, BEUC


As Director General of BEUC, Monique represents 41 independent national consumer associations in 31 European countries, acting as a strong consumer voice in Brussels, ensuring that consumer’ interests are given weight in the development of policies and raising the visibility and effectiveness of the consumer movement through lobbying EU institutions and media contacts. As a consumer expert and advocate, she was member of the EU High-level Expert Group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector (Liikanen group) and is a delegate in the Consultative Commission on Industrial Change of the European Economic and Social Committee. She is also member of the EU High-level Group on the sustainability of the food supply chain, of the EU Ressource Efficiency Platform and is substitute member of the SEPA-Council. Recently, she has been appointed as Associate member of the EIF Board of Management (European Internet Foundation). In her capacity as BEUC Director General, Monique is currently EU co-chair of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) a network of EU and US consumer organisations (www.tacd.org), and Treasurer of Finance-Watch (www.finance-watch.org), a public interest association dedicated to making finance work for the good of society. She also represents BEUC at Consumers International, the international consumer organisation (www.consumersinternational.org).

In January 2014, Monique has been appointed member of the TTIP Advisory Group set up by the European Commission, to advise the latter in the context of the development of negotiations with the US for the conclusion of a transatlantic trade and investment partnership.

Steven  Erlanger

Steven Erlanger

London Bureau Chief, The New York Times


Steven Erlanger became the London bureau chief of The New York Times in August 2013, after five years as bureau chief in Paris and before that, four years as bureau chief in Jerusalem.

He has served as Berlin bureau chief, bureau chief for Central Europe and the Balkans, based in Prague, and chief diplomatic correspondent, based in Washington. From 1991 to 1995, he was posted in Moscow, after being Bangkok bureau chief and Southeast Asia correspondent from 1988 to 1991.

In New York, he was Culture Editor from 2002 to 2004. Previously, he worked for The Boston Globe. He was European correspondent, based in London, 1983-87, and deputy national and foreign editor. He reported from Eastern Europe, Moscow and revolutionary Iran.

He shared a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for a series on Al Qaeda awarded in 2002, ASNE's 2001 Jesse Laventhol prize for deadline reporting for his work in the former Yugoslavia and the German Marshall Fund's Peter Weitz Prize in 2000. He was awarded the 2005 Eliav-Sartawi Award for Middle East journalism.

He was graduated from Harvard College in 1974 and studied Russian at St. Antony's College, Oxford. In 2013, he was awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French Republic for services to journalism.

Emily O'Reilly

Emily O'Reilly

European Ombudsman


Emily O'Reilly was elected as the European Ombudsman in July 2013 and took office on 1 October 2013. She was re-elected in December 2014 for a five year mandate. She is an author and former journalist and broadcaster who became Ireland's first female Ombudsman and Information Commissioner in 2003 and in 2007 she was also appointed Commissioner for Environmental Information.

As former political editor, broadcaster and author, her career attracted significant domestic and international recognition including a Harvard University Fellowship in 1988 and multiple national awards.

She has written three critically acclaimed books on Irish politics and media and is a current member of the International Advisory Board of Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

Ms O'Reilly is a graduate of University College Dublin with a Degree in European Languages and Literature (1979) and holds a Graduate Diploma in Education from Trinity College Dublin (1980). She was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate in Laws by the National University in Ireland in 2008 for her work in promoting human rights throughout her career as a journalist and through her work as Ombudsman. In 2014 she was conferred a second time with an Honorary Doctorate of Law from University College Dublin in Ireland.

In the course of her journalistic career, she won two awards: Journalist of the Year and Woman Journalist of the Year.

John Peet

John Peet

Political Editor, The Economist


John Peet, Europe Editor, was previously Business Affairs Editor (from 1998), responsible for the business, finance and economics and science & technology coverage of the paper. Prior to this he had been Brussels Correspondent, Executive Editor, Surveys Editor, Finance Correspondent, Washington, DC, Correspondent and Britain Correspondent.
Before joining The Economist he was a civil servant, working for the Treasury and the Foreign Office from 1976 to 1986.

He is the co-author of “Unhappy Union: How the Euro Crisis – and Europe – Can Be Fixed”, publised by Profile Books May 2014.

Neena Gill

Neena Gill

MEP, European Parliament


In her third term, having previously served 1999-2009, Ms Neena Gill is a Labour Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands, UK. She presently serves on the Committees for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Foreign Affairs and PANA. Ms Gill is also First Vice-President to the Delegation for Relations with India, and sits on the Delegation to the US, ASEAN and ACP.

Previously she served as President of the Delegation for Relations with India, EP Delegation for SAARC, and Vice President of EP Delegation for Relations with South Asia. She sat on the Budgets and Industry, Research and Energy Committees amongst other work.

In her years out of office Ms Gill worked as the Vice-President for Corporate Affairs in the SAS software company

Prior to becoming an MEP, she was a CEO of two housing organisations. She also graduated in Social Sciences, has a post-graduate professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Housing, and is an alumnus of the London Business School.

Ms Gill was recently awarded CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour’s list. She was further awarded a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman on the 9th of January 2017 - the highest award given to non-Indians - by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for her contribution in the field of public service.

Mike Galsworthy

Mike Galsworthy

Programme Director, Scientists for EU


Dr Mike Galsworthy is Programme Director of Scientists for EU, which he co-founded in May 2015. Previously he was an independent consultant in research & innovation policy. Before that he worked at UCL, Royal College of Anaesthetists, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), National institute of Health (Slovenia), and the University of Zurich (Swizerland). Mike’s undergraduate degree is from Cambridge and his PhD from Kings’ College London (behaviour genetics). Since 2009, Mike has analysed and written widely on the EU research programmes and has given invited talks on science policy internationally. His commentary on UK-EU research relations has been cited in several Government and House of Lords documents. Mike has been vocal on the value of EU membership to UK science since 2013.

Alex Barker

Alex Barker

Brussels Bureau Chief, Financial Times


Alex Barker is the FT's Brussels bureau chief, covering foreign policy, some of the migration crisis and all things Brexit. He started in Brussels on the single market, financial regulation and competition beat. He was formerly an political correspondent in Westminster and joined the FT in 2005.

Alex Barker has spent the last five years in Brussels working as the FT’s European diplomatic editor and EU correspondent.

Barker started his career in current affairs television. After taking a Masters degree at Columbia University, he joined the FT as a graduate trainee in 2005. His reporting stints have included covering a US presidential campaign and a constitutional crisis in Ankara.

David  Shukman

David Shukman

Science Editor, BBC


Twenty years ago David visited the secret lab at Los Alamos that created the nuclear bomb and he's been fascinated by science and scientists ever since. His reports on research have taken him as far afield as the Antarctic ice-sheet, the Amazon rainforest and the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Since joining the BBC back in 1983, David has covered Northern Ireland, defence, Europe and world affairs. He is the author of three books. His favourite memories include reporting from East Berlin during the fall of the Wall and exploring the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider on a bike.

Stephen Fidler

Stephen Fidler

Brussels Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal


Stephen Fidler has been Brussels Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires since October 2009. He runs a bureau of 11 journalists and leads coverage from Brussels of the European Union and the euro zone as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He writes a regular column and was part of a team of Journal reporters named as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for their reporting on the euro-zone debt crisis.

Before joining the Journal in London in March 2009, he spent 22 years with the Financial Times in senior roles, including international capital markets editor, Latin America Editor, defence and security editor, and U.S. diplomatic editor. In the latter role, he was based in Washington DC.

He spent almost a decade as a correspondent for Reuters in London, New York and the Middle East. His first job in journalism was with a group of English newspapers in his native Lincolnshire. He holds a degree in economics from London University, and was formerly a senior consulting fellow for the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Paul Adamson

Paul Adamson

Founder and Editor, E!Sharp, Chairman, Forum Europe


Paul Adamson is chairman of Forum Europe and founder and editor of E!Sharp, an online magazine dedicated to covering the European Union and Europe's place in the world.

He is a member of Rand Europe's Council of Advisors and sits on the external advisory board of YouGov-Cambridge, a polling think-tank, He is a member of the advisory groups of the European Institute in Washington DC and the Washington European Society. He is also on the advisory group of the EU chapter of Women in International Security (WiiS).

Paul is a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College London, a patron of the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES) and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.

He founded the consulting firm Adamson Associates, which was sold to Weber Shandwick and The Centre, which was later sold to Edelman.

In 2012, Paul was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to promoting understanding of the European Union”, a part of the Queen's 2012 New Year Honours Diplomatic Service and Overseas List.

Peter Schrank

Peter Schrank

Political Cartoonist


Swiss-born Peter Schrank is an internationally award winning political cartoonist. He spent twenty years as a freelance cartoonist and illustrator in London. He now lives in Norwich, Norfolk. Schrank was political cartoonist for The Independent on Sunday, and more occasionally the Independent, from 1995 to 2016. He continues to work for Basler Zeitung (Switzerland) and The Sunday Business Post (Ireland), and is also also a regular contributor to the Economist. His work is internationally syndicated by The New York Times Syndicate (www.nytsyn.com/cartoons). A book of his cartoons (An Independent Line, with Dave Brown and Tim Sanders), was published by the Political Cartoon Society in 2008. Currently his work can be seen in The Best of Britain’s Political Cartoons of 2016 published by Random House. When not drawing he enjoys playing the guitar and messing around on boats.

Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts

International Projects Director, YouGov


Marcus Roberts is Director of International Projects at YouGov where he leads work on political strategy and business development. Marcus previously served as Campaign Manager to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and has nearly twenty years experience in field, communications and strategy roles with both the Labour Party in the UK and the Democratic Party in the US.

Stijn  Hoorens

Stijn Hoorens

Associate Director, Head of the Brussels Office, RAND Europe


Stijn Hoorens is Associate Director of RAND Europe and heads up RAND’s office in Brussels. RAND is a not-for-profit research organisation that helps to improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. Before joining RAND fourteen years ago, he held research positions at Delft University of Technology and at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). Stijn has led and designed numerous policy studies advising the EU and various national governments. His research interests include issues around illicit markets, labour markets and skills and he co-authored a report on the costs of reintroducing border controls in the Schengen zone.

Simon Tilford

Simon Tilford

Deputy Director, Centre for European Reform


Simon Tilford is deputy director of the Centre for European Reform in London. Simon works on the political economy of the eurozone, fiscal and monetary policy, supply-side reforms in the EU, innovation policy, competition policy, social inequality, environmental economics, Germany and the UK.

Simon previously worked as an economist and consultant at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, and before that was an international economist at Nomura International. He has acted as an advisor to the European Commission, several EU governments and central banks, the House of Lords, and various financial institutions, multinationals and business federations.

He has published opinion pieces in numerous newspapers, including the Financial Times, the International New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Les Echos, Il Sole 24, The Guardian, and regularly comments on European developments in the media.

Simon Tilford can be followed on twitter at @SimonTilford

Fredrik Erixon

Fredrik Erixon

Director and co-founder, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)


Fredrik Erixon is a Director and co-founder of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a world-economy think tank based in Brussels. Since 2006, Erixon has spearheaded the development of the institute to become one of Brussels’ leading research-based institutes. Fredrik Erixon is the author of several books and studies in the fields of international economics and economic policy, including Europe in Emerging Asia (Rowman Littlefield, 2015) and the The Innovation Illusion (Yale University Press, 2016).

Giacomo  Persi Paoli

Giacomo Persi Paoli

Research Leader - Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group, RAND Europe


Ph.D. in economics, University of Roma Tor Vergata (Italy); M.A. in international science and diplomacy, University of Trieste (Italy); M.A. in political science, University of Pisa (Italy)

Giacomo Persi Paoli is a senior analyst in RAND Europe's Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group. Since joining RAND Europe, Persi Paoli has contributed to several research projects for high profile clients both such as the European Commission, the European Defence Agency, the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders, the UK Army, the UK MOD and the Australian Navy. His areas of expertise span the defence and security domain, with recent work covering counterterrorism, maritime security, border security, risk analysis, arms control and defence market analysis.

Prior to joining RAND Europe, Persi Paoli served 14 years as warfare officer of the Italian Navy with operational experience in maritime interdiction operations, including counter-piracy in the Horn of Africa and immigration surveillance and rescue in the South Mediterranean. He also conducted research and analysis work on illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons and related countermeasures for the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (New York), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (Geneva), and Small Arms Survey (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva).

Jonathan Portes

Jonathan Portes

Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King's College London , Senior Fellow, UK in a Changing Europe


Jonathan Portes is Professor of Economics and Public Policy, King's College London; and Senior Fellow, UK in a Changing Europe. Previously, he was Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office, where he advised the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, and Number 10 Downing Street on economic and financial issues.  Before that he held a number of other senior economic policy posts in the UK government. His particular interests include immigration, labour markets, and poverty. Mr Portes began his civil service career in HM Treasury in 1987.  He writes regularly for the national and international press and is on twitter at @jdportes.

Liam Benham

Liam Benham

Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, IBM


Liam Benham is vice president for governmental programs for IBM Europe, based in Brussels. He works with the European Union institutions in Brussels as well as national governments across the EU, Russia, and Turkey. Benham is a member of the Board of American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU) and chairs the Policy Group, which oversees the policy positions taken by the chamber. Before joining IBM, he spent 15 years in senior government relations positions at Ford Motor Company, based in the U.K., Brussels, and Asia-Pacific. He holds a degree in politics from the University of Bristol.

John E. Frank

John E. Frank

Vice President EU Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation


John Frank is Microsoft's Vice President, EU Government Affairs. In this role, John leads Microsoft’s government affairs teams in Brussels and European national capitals on EU issues.

John was previously Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Staff for Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith based at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond Washington. In this role, he managed several teams including the Law Enforcement and National Security team, the Industry Affairs group, Corporate, Competition Law and Privacy Compliance teams and the department’s technology and business operations team.

For his first eight years at Microsoft, John was based at Microsoft’s European headquarters in Paris. Initially he was responsible for the legal and regulatory issues involved in the launch of the Microsoft Network (now MSN). From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Frank led Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs group for Europe, Middle East and Africa focusing on issues including privacy, security, consumer protection and antitrust. Mr. Frank began the company’s European Government Affairs program, which focused on advocacy on software and online policy issues.

Prior to joining Microsoft, John Frank practiced law in San Francisco with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Mr. Frank received his A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Carl Dolan

Carl Dolan

Director, Transparency International EU


Carl has worked at Transparency International EU since 2011 and became its director in 2013. He has previously worked in UK Research Councils, the European Commission and the European Foundation Centre. He holds degrees in economics and philosophy from University College Dublin (1991-97) and studied and taught political philosophy at the University of Bristol (1999-2002).

Per Sandberg

Per Sandberg

Project leader, Statoil Research & Technology


Dr Per Sandberg is project leader in Statoil Research & Technology, working on renewable and low carbon solutions. Sandberg has recently rejoined Statoil after a leave of absence when he lead the secretariat for the Norwegian government’s expert commission on green competitiveness, which delivered its report to the prime minister in October 2016. Before that he was Statoil’s Chief of Innovation. During that period Sandberg was also a member of the tripartite EU High Level Group on Innovation Policy Management. Per has also been managing director at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), leading and delivering the seminal projects Vision 2050 (launched in 2010) and Sustainable Mobility (launched in 2004). Sandberg has a MScEng in chemical engineering and a PhD on ethical issues of biotechnology, both from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Jennifer  Rankin

Jennifer Rankin

Brussels correspondent, The Guardian


Jennifer Rankin is the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent, where she covers many aspects of the European Union, including Brexit, the migration crisis and the politics of the EU institutions.

She first came to Brussels in 2006 as a winner of the Nico Colchester journalism fellowship, awarded by the Economist and the Financial Times. A three-month placement at the Economist turned into a five-year stay in Brussels, where she was a reporter for the EU affairs weekly European Voice and also wrote for some British newspapers, including the Independent and the Scotsman.

She joined the Guardian in London in 2013 and was posted to Brussels in 2015. Other reporting stints include working in Moscow, where she helped to cover elections and street protests for Reuters and the Irish Times in 2012-13.
Before journalism, she was a researcher at the Institute for Public Policy Research and studied at Cambridge and Oxford universities.

Sophie Magennis

Sophie Magennis

Head of Policy & Legal Support Unit, Bureau for Europe, UNHCR


Sophie Magennis is Head of the Policy and Legal Support Unit at UNHCR’s Bureau for Europe in Brussels. Prior to her appointment, she was UNHCR’s Head of Office in Ireland. Previously, she was Head of Policy and Legislation at the Irish Ombudsman for Children’s Office and Administrator of the Irish Human Rights Commission.
She co-founded Human Rights Consultants in 2000. Prior to that, she served as Deputy to the Irish Ambassador to the Council of Europe. She has worked with the Council of Europe as Legal Consultant to the Monitoring Unit of the Secretary General and as Legal Expert at the Council of Europe’s Section for Equality between Women and Men.
She is an Attorney and Counsellor at Law at the New York State Bard and holds a European Masters Degree in Human Rights and Democratisations from the Inter-University Centre in Venice, Italy.

Hendrik Bourgeois

Hendrik Bourgeois

General Counsel Europe & Vice President European Affairs, GE


Hendrik Bourgeois is General Counsel GGO Europe and head of European Affairs at GE (General Electric Company). His most recent prior positions at GE include General Counsel EMEA, and Senior European Competition Counsel, serving all GE businesses on a wide variety of competition law matters involving mergers and acquisitions, distribution, R&D activities and compliance issues.

In his preceding role, Hendrik headed the legal department of one of GE’s business divisions, GE Industrial Systems, as European General Counsel.
Prior to joining GE, Hendrik Bourgeois was an attorney with Jones Day, based in Washington DC and Brussels, where he practiced mainly US antitrust and European competition law.

Hendrik obtained his law degree at the Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Belgium, and has an LL.M degree from Harvard Law School. He is a former member of the Brussels Bar and current member of the New York Bar. Hendrik is a frequent speaker and writer on a wide variety of legal and policy issues.

He was elected Chairman of the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU in October 2011. He is a board member of GE Europe NV and of GE Italia Holding SpA, and chairs the Board of Directors of the GE European Pension Fund OFP.

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



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