Speakers CEE Civil Society Forum 2016

Adam Rainer, Regional Director for Central, East and Southeast Europe (Bulgaria)

Since 2014, Dr. Rainer Adam is Regional Director for Central, East and Southeast Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Before this he was Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia. He has more than 25 years of practical experience in Asia. Since 1990 he has been promoting liberal values, democracy, human rights, free trade and market economy in various Asian countries such as China, Singapore, India, Indonesia and Thailand for the FNF. He holds a PhD from Bonn University, Germany in agricultural economics. His expertise includes democracy promotion, political party development, good governance, citizens’ participation, property rights and land policy, economic policy, institutions and legal reform.



Adina Trunk, Programme Officer on Democracy Assessment at International IDEA (Sweeden)

Adina Trunk works with State of Democracy Assessments within the Democracy Analysis Assessment and Advisory Unit (DAAA) at International IDEA. Before joining International IDEA in January 2016, she worked for ten years with political parties and democracy development in Eastern Europe and as a strategic, policy and gender advisor for Members of Parliament from Sweden and political leaders from Eastern Europe. Her previous work experience also includes working at the French Embassy, the European Parliament and the Swedish Postcode Foundation. Adina Trunk holds a Master in European Science and a Bachelor in International Marketing. She is originally from Romania and speaks six languages fluently.


Astrid E. Helle, Permanent Representative of Norway to the Council of Europe (Norway)

National approaches to problems facing European society discussed in the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, and the Europe-wide responses to such challenges formulated under the auspices of this collective forum, are ensured by the constant touch of the member states with the organization. Since 2013, Ms. Emilie Astrid Helle is theI utenrikstjenesten fra 1992. Underdirektør i Utenriksdepartementet 2001-03. Permanent Representative of Norway to the Council of Europe.



Bogdan Deleanu, Director, Europuls (Romania)

Having worked in the European Parliament between 2008-2016, Bogdan Deleanu is now serving in the European Economic and Social Committee on interinstitutional affairs. He studied in Bucharest and Brussels, focusing on foreign affairs and security and defense, and while in the EP covered a wide range of topics, ranging from counter-terrorism and cybersecurity to energy security and human rights. In 2011 he also served for the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti as an electoral expert and has a broad electoral experience. In his free time, he works with Europuls, a leading EU-affairs Romanian NGO, trying to improve the quality of public debates on European affairs in his home country.


Carmen Marcu, Adviser Secretary of State at the Ministry of Youth and Sports (Romania)

Carmen Marcu is a manager and consultant in non-governmental field having 12 years of experience in NGOs field and volunteering development. With a great interest and focus in promotion of good practice in volunteering (national and international), youth work, corporate volunteering projects and standards, non-formal education, training delivery and consultancy in organizational management. She is currently holding the position of Adviser for the Secretary of State for Youth Policies at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Romania, being in charge with communications, learning and volunteering programs for youth and youth workers. Vice-president of VOLUM Federation (2013-2016), Member of the steering group for European Year of Volunteering 2011 in Romania, Communications Manager and Trainer at Pro Vobis - The National Resource Center for Volunteerism (2007-2015), President at A.R.T. Fusion Association (2005-2016).


Csaba Asztalos, President of the National Council for Combating Discrimination (Romania)

Asztalos Csaba Ferenc is the President of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, at the second mandate since 2005, with an interruption of 4 months in 2010, while he activated as a state counselor at the Vice Prime Minister’s Office. Between 2002 and 2005 he was a member of the Steering Board of the institution. Previusly Mr. Asztalos worked as an analyser and adviser on domestic affairs to the President of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania. He holds an PhD in law sciences from University of Bucharest (The Juridical Status of Citizenship in International Law), an executive master in public administration (2009) at the Center for International Public Policy and Administration, University of Limerick, as well as a specialized training to fill the appropiate public office for senior civil servants category with the National Institute for Administration. Since 2004 he is associate trainer at the National Institute of Magistracy on the principle of equality and non-discrimination issues. 2011-present: Lecturer at the Law School – Romanian American University; 2011: Expert - Workshop on anti-discrimination - Chisinau within the framework of the TAIEX Instrument, European Commission's DG Enlargement; 2011: Expert Mission on VISA Dialogue in Ukraine, Kiev - within the framework of the TAIEX Instrument, European Commission's DG Enlargement; 2011: Trainer within different projects on equal opportunities and antidiscrimination financed by European Commission.


Dacian Cioloş, Prime Minister of Romania (Romania)

Dacian Cioloș is Prime Minister of Romania. Previously he was Agriculture Commissioner in the European Commission (2010-2014). In July 2015, Jean-Claude Juncker, the current President of the European Commission, named him as his special adviser on international food security. Between 2007 and 2008 Dacian Cioloș was Agriculture Minister in the Romanian Government. He holds degrees in the economy of agricultural development from the École nationale supérieure agronomique de Rennes and from the University of Montpellier 1, where he respectively earned a master's in 1997 and a doctorate in 2006.



Denisa Ionescu,  Secretary General of ENNA (Belgium)

Denisa Ionescu is the Secretary General of ENNA, the European Network of National Civil Society Associations. With over 13 years experience in the third sector,  Denisa’s expertise ranges from capacity building for CSOs to policy and research roles. Before joining ENNA in 2014, she helped strengthening the sector in Romania, working with Civil Society Development Foundation and Open Society Foundation. Denisa also is one of the founders of the youth organization A.R.T. Fusion, in Romania



Elena Calistru, Chair & Co-founder at Funky Citizens (Romania)

Elena Calistru is the chair and founder of Funky Citizens, a Romanian-based NGO. Funky Citizens builds research-based, data-driven advocacy tools. Funky Citizens’ tools aim to be educational and actionable, encouraging citizens to engage in accountability and government responsibility initiatives in which they can see an impact. Elena Calistru has more than 8 years of experience in civil society projects, both at national and international level. Her expertise is mainly in the area of good governance, transparency, public finance and advocacy. She strongly believes that data and online tools can empower citizens to influence public sector reform.


Elina Mikola,  Advocacy Officer at KEHYS - The Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU (Finland) 

Elina Mikola works as an advocacy officer in The Finnish NGDO Platform to the European Union, Kehys. Kehys is an advocacy network of Finnish NGOs working on development issues. The main thematic focus area for Kehys is policy coherence for sustainable development. Kehys also works for active citizenship and a stronger civil society.  Kehys is the Finnish national platform within the European NGO confederation for relief and development CONCORD.





Gabriel Bădescu, Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy (Romania)

Dr. Gabriel Badescu is Professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy at Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj, Romania. He has a BA in Mathematics, a BA in Sociology and received his doctorate in Sociology at the Babeş-Bolyai University. He held a Fulbright post-doctoral research fellowship, at University of Maryland, College Park, U.S. and an International Fellowship of Open Society Institute. Between 2009 and 2010 he coordinated the Romanian Agency for Governmental Strategies. He coordinated more than 10 major projects, out of which six are international or part of cross-national projects, and is the author or editor of six books and published more then 40 articles on democratic and economic transitions in Eastern Europe, civil society, social capital, educational policies, research methodology, income inequality and labor migration.


Gústav Bergmann Sigurbjörnsson, Member of the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (Iceland)

Gústav Bergmann is a PhD student in philosophy at the University of Iceland and chairman of the Icelandic Philosophy Society. He has been an active member of Alda - Association for Sustainability and Democracy in Iceland since its inception in 2010. Alda has through the years lobbied for various changes in Icelandic society, including the development of democratic education, towards the shortening of the work week and legislation concerning co-operatives. Currently Gústav Bergmann is working with the Left-Green Movement in the City of Reykjavík developing among other things projects on participatory budgeting and the strengthening of civil institutions such as the neighbourhood councils in Reykjavik.



Hanna Szulczewska, Plenipotentiary Member for international relations of the Board of Directors of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Poland)

Hanna Szulczewska is a member of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD) since its very beginning in November 2015 and she acts as a plenipotentiary of the KOD Board for international relations. She is also member of the KOD Press Office, liaising with foreign media and KOD International in Brussels, and a member of Editorial Boards of international and local KOD Newsletters. Hanna Szulczewska is engaged in several KOD projects such as “Space of Freedom”: a series of educational activities organized across Poland to raise civic awareness and increase civil society efforts for democracy.

“As a person who never regularly worked for NGOs before, I am a typical representative of KOD, which gathers civic society members who have decided to give up often a substantial part of their own professional and private lives to defend democracy in Poland as the rules of democratic state of law are no longer respected. By profession I am a freelance translator and  academic teacher working, among others, for the Polish Academy of Sciences”.


Ionuţ Sibian, Executive Director of the Civil Society Development Foundation (Romania)

Ionuț Sibian is the executive director of the Civil Society Development Foundation (FDSC), one of the most influential NGOs in Romania. After Romania’s accession to the European Union in 2007, Ionuț Sibian was appointed the representative of the Romanian NGOs in Brussels, at the European Economic and Social Committee. He had previously been the President of the Federation of Romanian Development NGOs (FOND) and a Board member of various European and Romanian NGOs. Ionuț Sibian has an MA in International Relations from the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies and another one in East-European Studies, granted by the European Union.


Irina Drexler, National campaign coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement Romania (Romania)

Irina Drexler is the current National campaign coordinator of the No Hate Speech Movement in Romania. She has a PhD in linguistics, with a focus on pragmatics, rhetoric and (critical) discourse analysis. During her studies she was actively involved in educational projects, quality assurance and policy writing activities at a local and national level in the academic and NGO environment. Keen on combining her academic background with her research work and civic engagement, she joined the Romanian Peace Institute (PATRIR), through which she has been involved in the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe since 2014. She is also one of the founding members of Transylvania Digital Humanities Research Centre (DigiHUBB) within the Babeş-Bolyai University and a sworn translator.


Israel Butler, Independent analyst on human rights and EU affairs at the European Liberties Platform (UK)

Israel Butler is an independent researcher and analyst on human rights and EU affairs. From 2012-2015 he was senior policy analyst on fundamental rights, justice and home affairs at the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels. Prior to this, he worked for three years at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna as a legal researcher and speechwriter. He holds a doctorate in International Law and Human Rights and began his career in academia as a lecturer at Lancaster University covering EU Law and Human Rights Law.


Ivan Novosel, Director of Programs at Human Rights House (Croatia)

Ivan Novosel is a Director of Programs at Human Rights House Zagreb, Croatia where he coordinates human rights watchdog, research, monitoring, advocacy and educational activates aimed to uphold and promote international human rights standards and norms in Croatia, with a special focus on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and protection of human rights defenders. He is a member of Ombudsperson's Human Rights Council, Government's Advisory Council on Civil Society Development, and Zagreb Pride Association. Prior joining the Human Rights House Zagreb, Ivan Novosel was a Program Coordinator at Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Croatia. He holds an MA in Human Rights from the Central European University, Legal Studies Department, Hungary, and an MA in Political Science from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science, Croatia. He was awarded Open Society Justice Initiative Fellowship in 2012/14. His main fields of interests are human rights, rule of law, democratic institutions, national minorities and LGBTIQ issues.


Karen Fogg, Board member, Civil Society Development Foundation (UK)

Karen Fogg has worked for the EU Commission and was the Head of Delegation in Ankara (1998-2002) and before that in Bucharest (1993-1998). She worked on PHARE and Enlargement since 1990. Prior to that, she worked in development cooperation in central Africa and on food security issues. Joining the Commission in 1973, she first worked on employment, social policy and education. She was assistant secretary general of the International European Movement from 1970-73. Karen Fogg, a British citizen, studied in Bristol, Bruges and Manchester, focusing on European integration and East-West relations.





Katarzyna Mortoń, International coordinator at the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Poland)

Katarzyna Mortoń is a plenipotentiary of the Executive Board of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy for International Affairs and Foreign Funding and Coordinator of KOD International. Katarzyna is the co-founder of MENAC (Middle East and North Africa Committee) and a former board member of European Youth Press. She is a networker, trainer and a project manager dedicated to civil society & media capacity building with focus on the impact of communication channels worldwide. She is occasionally publishing as a journalists/media-maker running also her own political blog (www.stuffbymorton.blox.pl). She holds an MA in Political Science (International Relations).



Koos Steenbergen, Policy Officer at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (Netherlands)







Laura Ştefan, Anti-corruption expert (Romania)

Laura Ștefan is the Rule of Law and Anticorruption Coordinator for Expert Forum. She has over 10 years of professional experience combining public sector and private sector practice. Laura Ștefan also acts as an international expert in the areas of judicial reform, anticorruption and money laundering for the European Commission, UNDP, OECD and other international organizations. In 2011 she was appointed by the European Commission as one of the 17 members of the Expert Group on Corruption. Between 2005 and 2007 she served as Director in the Romanian Ministry of Justice, being responsible for the anticorruption policy. She drafted and advocated for the adoption of key anticorruption legislation, designed awareness programs and worked on reforming of the Public Prosecutors Office.


Luben PanovProgram Director of the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-profit Law (Bulgaria)

Luben Panov is Program Director of the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL) since 2009 and has served as the organization’s director since its founding in 2001. BCNL is an organization working for improving the legal framework for NGOs in Bulgaria and providing assistance to NGOs. He has worked on issues such as registration and operation of NGOs, taxation and fiscal framework for civil society, tax incentives for donations, social contracting.



Luca Jahier, President of the Various Interests' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (Italy)

Luca Jahier is the President of the Various Interests' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee. He is journalist, international political analyst, expert in the field of associations for social advancement and the third sector. Over the last thirty years he has been extremely prolific, both as a journalist and as the author of essays and contributions to specialist publications; he has also addressed seminars and conferences. Since 1980 Luca Jahier has been active in the field of international cooperation, first with CISV (Comunità Impegno Servizio Volontariato – voluntary service organisation) in Turin and then with networks and associations of national and European NGOs, such as FOCSIV (Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario), the Italian ecclesiastical committee for the reduction of the poorest countries' foreign debt and ACLI (Associazioni Cristiane Lavoratori Italiani – Christian associations of Italian workers).


Marie de Looz-Corswarem, Project Adviser, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Commission.

Marie studied Political Sciences in Louvain-la-Neuve (BE) and wrote her thesis in anthropology. She then obtained a licence in Management at the Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis. She worked in the associative world for several years, in particular on an education project in Haïti and founded an association which finances grants for young musicians. She joined the European Commission in 2004. There she followed research projects for the preservation of cultural heritage (Directorate General for Research and Innovation) and joined the EACEA in 2008. Since September 2016 she is responsible for the projects financed under the Civil Society measure of the strand "Democratic engagement and civic participation" of the Europe for Citizens Programme. The objective of the Programme is to fund initiatives to strengthen remembrance and to enhance civic participation at EU level. It is under the responsibility of DG HOME and mainly implemented by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).


Marin Lessenski, European Policies Program Director of the Open Society Institute (Sofia)

Marin Lessenski is European Policies Program Director of the Open Society Institute – Sofia.  He holds an MA in Southeast European Studies from the Central European University - Budapest and an MA in History from the University of Sofia. He has been a Freedom House Visiting Fellow  and a participant in the Transatlantic Young Leaders Program of the Aspen Institute - Berlin.

At OSI-Sofia, Mr. Lessenski manages the European Policies Initiative - EuPI (www.eupi.eu) and the European Catch-Up Index (www.thecatchupindex.eu). 



Maris Jõgeva, Executive Director of the Network of Estonian Non-profit Organizations (Estonia) 

Maris is an executive director for the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations, the only cross-sectoral civil society network in Estonia. Her main expertise is government-civil society relations, funding of civil society and civic engagement. Before joining civil society she worked for the government for some years on issues concerning civil society development and later for Open Estonia Foundation, dealing with civic education and capacity building of CSOs. She has masters degree in social work, has participated in several civic initiatives and is constantly active in her community.



Marius Jitea, Member of the No Hate Speech Campaign European Team & Project officer in the Education and Training Division Youth Department, DG II – DEMOCRACY Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation, Council of Europe (Belgium)

Marius Jitea has extensive experience in social inclusion and non-formal education policies. For almost 10 years he worked in the field of ethnic minorities’ rights, serving as a civil servant within the Department for Interethnic Relations of the Romanian Government. Since 2009, continuing working with the General Secretariat of the Romanian Government he focused on Roma rights policies and worked in the EU PHARE division. The main focus was assisting local authorities in implementing their Roma community driven projects implementation. With the EU requirement of having a National Strategy for Roma Inclusion, as part of the European Framework for Roma Inclusion, he contributed to the establishment and initiation of the National Roma Contact Point and consequently worked crossed-sectorial with social inclusion policy implementers across the Romanian central administration. Starting with 2014 he joined Council of Europe team of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on the Roma Issue where, until October 2015 he contributed to the ROMACT program implementation. Currently, within the Youth Department of the Council of Europe Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation he works within the European Secretariat of No Hate Speech Movement Campaign. With an MA in International Relations from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, his focus within international affairs domain is on human rights education for young people, social inclusion and access to rights of young people from disadvantaged communities.


Miguel Ongil, Member of the Parliament of the Community of Madrid/Podemos (Spain)

Miguel Ongil is a member of Parliament of the Community of Madrid elected on behalf of Podemos party. He is a spokesperson for the Investigating Committee on political corruption in te Community of Madrid. In 2013 he was a co-author of the book “What do we do with the financing of political parties?” and in April 2014 he came in front of the Constituitonal Committee of the Spanish Congress as an expert on political parties and anti-corruption. Miguel Ongil is an economist and he holds a postgraduate degree in European Studies from Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He has working experiences both in the private and public sector in UK, Germany and Belgium and he was actively engaged with social movements in Spain and Europe. 



Elena Calistru, Chair & Co-founder at Funky Citizens (Romania)

Elena Calistru is the chair and founder of Funky Citizens, a Romanian-based NGO. Funky Citizens builds research-based, data-driven advocacy tools. Funky Citizens’ tools aim to be educational and actionable, encouraging citizens to engage in accountability and government responsibility initiatives in which they can see an impact. Elena Calistru has more than 8 years of experience in civil society projects, both at national and international level. Her expertise is mainly in the area of good governance, transparency, public finance and advocacy. She strongly believes that data and online tools can empower citizens to influence public sector reform.


Milan Andrejkovic, Office of the Plenipotentiary for Development of the Civil Society of the Slovak Government (Slovakia)

Milan Andrejkovic has been working in the area of legislation and economics of civil society and NGOs since 1997. He is a co-author or provided consultancy to different law proposals and ammendments (i.e. tax assignation, volunteering, foundations, public collections, NGO registries, petitions and many others). In the Office of the Plenipotentiary he is responsible for preparing a better environment for NGO funding and legislation and for open data development within the Open Government Partnership



Miriam EkiudokoPresident of Ebony African Cultural, Arts and Human Rights Organization (Hungary)

Miriam Ekiudoko is a second-generation African Diaspora member with a multicultural background. She is an independent expert, consultant, trainer, public speaker, human and civil rights activist for over 20 years, founder and president of Ebony African Organization and Advisory Counsellor of ADEPT. She develops and coordinates projects, conducts trainings, delivers lectures and speeches, hosts and facilitates events, workshops and conferences on a regular basis. Her work focuses on human and civil rights justice, equity, inclusion, intercultural dialogue, cross-cultural projects, gender equality, migration, education, combating racism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination, promotion of tolerance and equality, integration, sustainable development, enhancing networking and cooperation, Pan-Africanism, People of African Descent , Diaspora Development and the promotion of non-violent values and practices, including combating all forms of discrimination and exclusion, hate violence, domestic violence, child abuse, child sexual abuse, FGM.


Nicoleta Chirita, Project Coordinator at Resource Center for Public Participation (Romania)

Nicoleta Chirita is Project Coordinator at Resource Center for Public Participation. In 2007, a absolvit cursurile Facultatii de Stiinte Politice a Universitatii Bucuresti, sectia francofona, iar in 2008, beneficiind de bursa guvernului francez, si-a continuat studiile in cadrul Universitatii Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne cu un master in comunicare politica si sociala. A acumulat peste patru ani de experienta in domenii diverse ca traducerile, resursele umane sau relatiile cu clienţii. Sejurul de studii parizian i-a oferit sansa efectuarii unui stagiu in comunicare la Groupe Société Générale dar si oportunitatea de a descoperi o lume total diferita de cea business, cea a ONG-urilor franceze, printr-un voluntariat la Médecins du Monde. Aceasta din urma experienta, in ciuda dificultatilor lucrului cu romii de la periferia Parisului, i-a adus satisfactii personale si a determinat-o sa vrea sa se implice in continuare in proiecte ale sectorului neguvernamental.


Stijn van Kessel, Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University (UK/Netherlands)

Dr. Stijn van Kessel is a Lecturer in Politics at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. His main research interests are populism and the discourse and electoral performance of populist (radical right) parties. He published his monograph Populist Parties in Europe: Agents of Discontent? with Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. In addition, he has published in edited books and journals including Government and Opposition, Acta Politica and Journal of Political Ideologies.



Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European Parliament (Austria)

Ulrike Lunacek is Vice President of the European Parliament, Member of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament since 2009 and head of delegation of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament. She is co-president of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Substitute in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affair. From 1999 to 2009, Ulrike Lunacek was a member of the Austrain Parliament, deputy chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Austrian Green group's spokeswoman on foreign and development policy as well as equality for LGBT persons. 



Urmo Kübar, Civil society adviser to the President of Estonia (Estonia)

Urmo Kübar is the civil society adviser to the President of Estonia. He has been involved in Estonian civil society development since 1999 when, as an undergraduate student, he co-founded a monthly civil society newspaper to raise public awareness about the growing nonprofit sector. While serving as the CEO of the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations between 2006 and 2013, his team was mostly focused in implementing new means to encourage public participation and civic activism. Currently he also works towards starting a venture philanthropy foundation “Round it up Estonia”.





Vedat Sevincer, Project Manager at NorSensus Mediaforum (Norway)

Vedat Sevincer is a Norway based researcher, project manager, lecturer and media person. He holds a M.S. in Religion, Society and Global Issues from the MF Norwegian School of Theology and a Master degree in  Comparative and International Education from the University of Oslo. He has practical and academic interests and experience in media literacy, multiculturalism, communication, human rights and citizenship issues in Norway, Turkey, Greece and Romania. Vedat Sevincer is an enthusiastic media and tech person with deep root of activism and education. 



Vera Mora, Director of the Ökotárs Foundation (Hungary)

Veronika Móra has been working with the Hungarian Environmental Foundation (HEPF) since 1997 and holds the position of the director since 2007. With HEPF and earlier, she has been working on a variety of issues related to ecological consumption, gene technologies and public participation. Since 2003 she has been leading HEPF’s Civil Partner program aiming to improve the legal-fiscal environment of civil society, but she also gained experience in managing and overseeing grant programs of various sizes, not least the Hungarian NGO Fund under the EEA/Norwegian Financial Mechanism. She is a biologist (MSc) by education, but also has a MA degree in organisational psychology, and most recently gained a diploma in environmental law.



Violeta Alexandru, Minister of Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue (Romania)

Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue has been appointed in November 2015 as central authority within Dacian Cioloș Cabinet to directly increase public system’s capacity in practicing open government providing civil society all necessary tools to participate in the decision making process. MA, Governance and Institutional Development, National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest, Faculty of Political Sciences; MA, International Affairs and Conflict Management. Former positon held: Director/Founding member of the Institute for Public Policy (IPP), Romania – think–tank specialized in the areas of transparency and good governance, integrity and public administration reform.



Yves Leterme, Secretary-General of International IDEA (Belgium)

Yves Leterme is the Secretary-General of the Stockholm-based intergovernmental organization International IDEA. Prior to International IDEA, he served as Prime Minister of Belgium (2007 to 2011) and then as Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris (2011 to 2014).

After starting his career as an Alderman in his home town of Ypres, he became a Member of Parliament in the Chamber of Representatives, Group Chairman and leader of the opposition, Secretary-General and Chairman of the CD&V party, Minister-President and Minister for Agriculture of the Flemish Government, Federal Senator, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Budget and Mobility, and Minister of Foreign Affairs. During Leterme’s tenure as Prime Minister, Belgium held the Presidency of the European Union. Leterme has also worked, inter alia, as a deputy auditor at the Belgian Court of Audit and as an administrator at the European Parliament. Yves Leterme has degrees in Law and in Political Sciences from the University of Ghent.