European Young Leaders - Dublin seminar

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Dublin seminar

Summary

Europeans need to start thinking together again if the European Union is going to thrive – or even survive – over the next half century, former Prime Minister of Ireland John Bruton said.

Bruton was speaking at the Friends of Europe conference of European Young Leaders in Dublin, which gathered people under 40 from science, media, technology and other fields. He pointed to four major problems for Europe today: aging populations; a reliance on mature technologies; the continent’s reduced relative size in world; and risk aversion.

“The European Union is a habit of thought,” said Bruton, who is also a Trustee of Friends of Europe. “The institutions are only the instruments for our habit of thinking like a European, and the habit of mind that could easily be lost. The EU will not be here in 40 years unless there is a European patriotism.”

Another threat is the possibility of the UK leaving the EU after a referendum. “If every country started to do this the EU would not last more than another two years,” he said

The prestigious 2015-2016 programme that was initially launched in 2011, brings together the continent’s most promising talents to contribute to Europe’s leadership through their ability to bring together and inspire people. Each year, a group of some 40 carefully selected European Young Leaders participate in two seminars organised in symbolic cities of EU member countries where they meet and discuss the current challenges the EU faces today, both for society as a whole, as well as for its citizens.

European Young Leaders seminar - Dublin 2015

About

About

The European Young Leaders programme, co-initiated by EuropaNova and Friends of Europe in 2011, is a unique and inventive initiative that aims to promote a European identity by engaging the continent’s most promising talents to contribute to Europe’s leadership through their capacity to bring together and inspire people.

The European Young Leaders embody a promising European leadership from all over the continent and with a wide variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media. The 2015 class was selected by a jury headed by Enrico Letta, former Italian Prime Minister.

Schedule

Schedule

Ice-breaking welcome lunch
Welcome Expand Welcome

By

Geert Cami

Co-Founder & Secretary General at Friends of Europe

Introductory remarks by

John Bruton

Advisor to Fair Observer and Prime Minister of Ireland’s Rainbow Coalition government (1994-1997)

CREATIVE EUROPE: SESSION I Expand CREATIVE EUROPE: SESSION I

Europe is famously diverse, with its different national heritages and cultures constituting a rich mix of creative juices. Is the European Union being sufficiently used to develop new cultural activities that would help to bind the peoples of Europe closer together while highlighting European creativity on the global stage? Where EU countries have been less successful is in the harnessing of the internet to new services and social networks. If Europe’s technological strengths could be linked more closely with the arts and popular culture might America’s pre-eminence in this age of global communication be challenged?

Introductory remarks by

Paul Young

Chief Executive Officer of Cartoon Saloon

European Young Leader contribution by

Andi Wecker

Film- and TV producer, writer, director at Network Movie Film und Fernsehproduktion GmbH, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Malcolm Byrne

Head of Communications at the Irish Higher Education Authority, 2014 European Young Leader

Dublin hosts the European headquarters to many global high-tech giants, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, EBay and LinkedIn and is also home to a growing number of indigenous startups. This session explores how Europe can shape and be shaped by the information technology revolution, both in education systems, in work environments and in citizens’ everyday life.

Introductory remarks by

Dara Murphy

Irish Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection

European Young Leader contribution by

Xenios Thrasyvoulou

Founder & CEO of PeoplePerHour.com, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Wouter Verschelden

Founder and Publisher at NewsMonkey, 2017 European Young Leader

Coffee break
CREATIVE EUROPE: SESSION II Expand CREATIVE EUROPE: SESSION II

Ongoing conflict east and south of Europe increasingly threatens the continent’s security. The rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and most recently its expansion to Libya, presents new risks. Thousands of European citizens, many of them very young, have either travelled to these countries to join ISIS or have been inspired by its ideology at home. How to tackle this phenomenon and the long term threat it poses to European security? With the battle against ISIS as much of an ideological battle as a military one, what should European governments be doing?

Introductory remarks by

Housam Najjair

Author of the book ‘Soldier for a Summer’

European Young Leader contribution by

Hanke Bruins Slot

Member of the Dutch Parliament and former military officer, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Mary Fitzgerald

Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist, 2013 European Young Leader

Transfer to the City Hall
Continue to DAY 2
SPOTLIGHT ON GLOBAL ISSUES Expand SPOTLIGHT ON GLOBAL ISSUES

With UN climate negotiations in their final leg, all eyes are on Paris, where global leaders are meeting later this year to seal a new, ambitious and legally binding climate deal. While the European Union is a success story when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions, the key question is whether it can maintain its climate leadership on the international stage and encourage other countries to take on comparable and ambitious climate commitments.

Introductory remarks by

Johannes Meier

Chief Executive Officer of the European Climate Foundation

Paul Watkinson

Head of the Climate Negotiation Team at the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy

European Young Leader contribution by

Jane Burston

Head of Climate and Environment at the UK National Physical Laboratory, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Cédric Denis-Remis

French Dean, ParisTech Shanghai JiaoTong and Vice President of EuropaNova

Coffee break
SPOTLIGHT ON GLOBAL ISSUES (follow-up) Expand SPOTLIGHT ON GLOBAL ISSUES (follow-up)

The heart-rending dramas of refugees displaced by conflict in the Middle East and by poverty in Africa are striking chords of sympathy and concern among public opinion across the EU. Whether it’s the plight of boatloads of people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean or the spectacle of huge refugee camps, it seems clear that Europeans feel their governments should be doing more. But often those same Europeans vote to resist immigration and a more multi-cultural society. With perhaps 100m immigrants needed by 2050 to compensate for Europe’s ageing, what solutions should we consider?

Introductory remarks by

Kensika Monshengwo

Former Director of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism

European Young Leader contribution by

Klen Jäärats

Director for EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Estonia, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Mary Fitzgerald

Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist, 2013 European Young Leader

Lunch
PARALLEL SESSIONS Expand PARALLEL SESSIONS

The EU’s member governments jealously guard their sovereign fiscal powers, and see tax matters as a vital part of their national political systems. But frictions over fiscal inducements to attract foreign investors and their corporate headquarters have of late shone unwelcome spotlights on countries as different as Luxembourg and Ireland. At the same time, EU-level policymakers have long pointed to the advantages of more coherent and even common tax arrangements. With taxation a crucially important element to combat social inequality, what fiscal arrangements should Europeans be pursuing?

Introductory remarks by

David McWilliams

Economist, Broadcaster and Bestselling Author

European Young Leader contribution by

Clémentine Forissier

Associate and Co-Founder of Contexte, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Sony Kapoor

Managing Director of the think tank Re-Define, 2014 European Young Leader

Opinion in continental Europe seems to divide neatly between those who believe the UK’s departure could deal a mortal blow to the EU’s future, and those who are tired of British euroscepticism and say “good riddance”. But what of near neighbours like Ireland whose social and economic links are still so close? Would the wider benefits of EU membership, coupled perhaps with partnership with an independent Scotland that opts to stay in Europe, compensate for a British exit?

Introductory remarks by Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton

Member of the Irish Parliament, Leader of Renua Ireland and former Irish Minister for European Affairs

European Young Leader contribution by Sander Loones

Sander Loones

Member of the European Parliament, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by Malcolm Byrne

Malcolm Byrne

Head of Communications at the Irish Higher Education Authority, 2014 European Young Leader

Coffee break and transfer to the Trinity College Library
Visit of the book of Kells at the Trinity College Library
Free time
Continue to DAY 3
PARALLEL SESSIONS Expand PARALLEL SESSIONS

Greece’s debt crisis has broadcast to the world that Europe’s vaunted unity is at risk. The financial and economic crisis that engulfed Europe from 2008 onwards acted as a catalyst to reveal the vulnerabilities and fault lines in the EU’s national economies. The result has been a widening of the North-South gap separating the ‘Club Med’ countries bordering the Mediterranean from those of northern Europe. And it has highlighted the differences between the EU’s ‘core’ and its ‘periphery’. What sort of policies are needed – with or without treaty change – to bind the EU’s member states together again?

Introductory remarks by

Noelle O’Connell

Executive Director of the European Movement Ireland

European Young Leader contribution by

Giovanna Pancheri

Brussels Correspondent at Sky TG 24 and Michal Olszewski / Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Michał Olszewski

Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Sony Kapoor

Managing Director of the think tank Re-Define, 2014 European Young Leader

The contrast between EU countries’ achievements in pure science and the educational shortcomings that have bred the ICT skills gap is inescapable. Europe’s scientists have won over half of all the Nobel prizes awarded since 1901, but that’s no guarantee for the future. Surveys of EU business leaders now find a majority fearing China will overtake Europe in technological innovation by the early 2020s. What’s to be done? Nobody doubts that R&D is key to productivity and our global competitiveness, so where is the drive to restore Europe’s lead? The European Commission provoked a storm of criticism earlier this year, not least from several hundred Nobel laureates, over its plans to switch almost €3bn from the EU’s research budget to its new infrastructure programme, and in any case R&D spending in Europe averaging less than 2% of GDPs is far below the U.S. and Asia. What sort of policy initiatives would seize public imagination and reverse the decline? And how could they be linked with the revolution in schools education that’s needed to produce the high-tech workforce of the future?

Introductory remarks by

Dan O’Brien

Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA)

European Young Leader contribution by

Sandro Mendonça

Fellow of The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Moderated by

Dimitris Tsigos

Founder and CEO of StartTech Ventures, 2013 European Young Leader

Coffee break
PARALLEL SESSIONS (follow-up) Expand PARALLEL SESSIONS (follow-up)

Europhiles often complain about the systematically negative reporting on Europe in the media. The EU’s institutions, and the European Commission particularly, have long been criticised for failing to come up with a new narrative that can transform its myriad activities into a stirring clarion call that rallies popular support.

The EU’s origins and its competences of course militate against that sort of re-branding exercise – its powers and responsibilities are technocratic, and the sexier stuff of political drama is kept firmly in the hands of the nation states and their electorates.

But are there nevertheless ways in which the EU could present ‘Europe’ in a broader canvas that would underline the value of unity and engender pride in the simple phrase “I’m a European”? How can younger generations be encouraged to see the added value of the European project, and what, if anything, should be done about European citizenship in education systems?

With

Tommy Tiernan

Irish comedian, actor and writer

Moderated by

Malcolm Byrne

Head of Communications at the Irish Higher Education Authority, 2014 European Young Leader

Lunch
Speakers

Speakers

Photo of Geert Cami
Geert Cami

Co-Founder & Secretary General at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Geert Cami

Geert Cami co-founded Friends of Europe in 1999 and now mainly deals with the strategic development (from concepts to fundraising and implementation) of our think-tank and its flagship projects. He also focuses on the expansion and the activation of our vast network of senior political, corporate, media and societal contacts throughout the world, and coordinates the work of the Boards involved in the governance of the organisation. Since its launch in February 2019, Geert also runs TownHall Europe, the Davignon Centre for New Leadership, next to the European Parliament in Brussels.

In the nineties, Geert worked for a few years in ECHO at the European Commission, where he helped create and develop the then newly set-up Information and Communications Unit. His focus was mainly on raising the profile of the EU’s humanitarian efforts throughout the world, managing the Information Budget and dealing with outreach through publications and media initiatives such as exhibitions, television debates or Humanitarian Days in Member States.

Geert also headed the European conference organising, press relations and publishing company Forum Europe for more than ten years. At the outset of his career, Geert worked for 2 music programmes at Belgian public Radio 1, and very briefly as a teacher and TV journalist.

Photo of John Bruton
John Bruton

Advisor to Fair Observer and Prime Minister of Ireland’s Rainbow Coalition government (1994-1997)

Show more information on John Bruton

John Bruton is an Irish politician and former Taoiseach who played a pivotal role in developing Ireland’s relations with the European Union. During his tenure, Ireland held the Presidency of the European Union and was instrumental in finalising the Stability and Growth Pact. After a long career in Irish politics with several ministerial posts, he served as the Ambassador of the European Union to the United States and as Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP). He currently works as an Advisor to Fair Observer, a nonprofit media organisation.

Photo of Andi Wecker
Andi Wecker

Film- and TV producer, writer, director at Network Movie Film und Fernsehproduktion GmbH, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Andi Wecker

After working in various jobs including as a camera assistant, electrician and assistant director in film and television, Andi joined the film production company Network Movie in 2002 as a producer. Projects then included the first series of the international co-production “The Team” for which Andi was Creative Producer, several series of the crime drama, “Soko Köln” (PD Cologne), several TV-movies including an adaptation of Frank Schätzing’s bestseller, “Die Dunkle Seite” (The Dark Side). While fulfilling these responsibilities, he studied directing at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and wrote and directed several short films and commercials.

20150629175041-xenios
Xenios Thrasyvoulou

Founder & CEO of PeoplePerHour.com, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Xenios Thrasyvoulou

PeoplePerHour.com is the UK’s largest freelance marketplace for digital work. As Founder and CEO, Xenios is in charge of the overall operation of the company as well as its latest innovation, SuperTasker.com, which outsources small tasks efficiently to a pool of curated experts. With offices in Europe and the United States, the company is truly making a dent in one of the world’s fastest growing markets. Xenios has been interviewed by and featured in a number of magazines and newspapers including The Financial Times, Business Insider and Bloomberg. An avid blogger, he is a regular contributor to such media outlets as the Huffington Post, Forbes and Wired Magazine. He is also a professional painter and obtained undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Cambridge.

Photo of Wouter Verschelden
Wouter Verschelden

Founder and Publisher at NewsMonkey, 2017 European Young Leader

Show more information on Wouter Verschelden

Wouter is the founder of Newsmonkey.be, a social media tailor-made news website, partly funded by a successful crowd-funding action. In 2013, he made a documentary and book about the future of the news business: Stop The Presses: the Golden Age of Journalism starts now. The documentary was partly based on his experience as the Editor-in-Chief of De Morgen that he managed for over 2 years. Before that, he worked at De Standaard, as a political journalist, and won several Belfius-press prizes. During that period he acquired his passion for politics and the inner workings of the system, which resulted in a fiction series about Belgian politics that he co-wrote for television and that will air in Belgium. He holds an MA in Political Journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York. He also has a Master in Business from the Vlerick Management School in Ghent and a Masters in Politics at Ghent University and Université de Bretagne Occidentale.

Hanke Bruins Slot
Hanke Bruins Slot

Member of the Dutch Parliament and former military officer, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Hanke Bruins Slot

Hanke is a Dutch politician, former military officer and hockey player. Immediately after graduating from university, Hanke joined the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations as a Senior Policy Officer. She remained in this position for four years before attending the Dutch Royal Military Academy (KMA) where she undertook officer training, and specialised as an artillery commander. Assigned as a Tank Platoon Commander in 2007, Hanke served in Afghanistan and by 2009 was Acting Field Officer assisting the Director of Operations, Land Forces Commando Staff. In 2010, Hanke was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives where she currently serves as party spokesperson on health and defence issues for the Christian Democratic Appeal party, and also focuses on local government, medical law, psychiatry and sports. Hanke is a keen hockey player and was on the team that won the Rabobank Premier Division national indoor hockey championship in 2005.

Photo of Jane Burston
Jane Burston

Head of Climate and Environment at the UK National Physical Laboratory, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Jane Burston

Jane has dedicated most her life to climate and environmental issues, serving first as a strategic consultant on low carbon policy to the Mayor of London and is now running a world-class climate science and low carbon technology centre at the UK’s National Measurement Institute. In 2008, she founded Carbon Retirement, an award-winning social enterprise working with the EU ETS. Her dedication to sustainability and entrepreneurial drive was rewarded with being named as one of the ‘Top 30 UK entrepreneurs under 30’ by Real Business in 2010, a ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Square Mile in 2011 and one of the ‘Top 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the UK’ by the Chamber of Commerce International in 2015, among others.

Photo of Klen Jäärats
Klen Jäärats

Director for EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Estonia, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Klen Jäärats

As Director of the EU Secretariat in the Estonian government, Klen coordinates and develops all EU policy and acts as the chief European affairs adviser to the Prime Minister. A career civil servant, Klen started out in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, rising quickly to the position of Head of the Refugees Department. In this capacity, he dealt with a variety of NGOs and international organisations including the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He later moved to Brussels where he spent six years working at the Estonian Permanent Representation to the EU during which time he dealt with many issues related to the preparation, ratification and implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Photo of Mary Fitzgerald
Mary Fitzgerald

Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Mary Fitzgerald

Mary is a journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya since 2011 and lived there throughout 2014. Her work has appeared in publications including the Economist, Foreign Policy, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Guardian. She has conducted research on Libya for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMED) among others. She is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. In her previous role as Irish Times foreign affairs correspondent, she reported from 40 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. She is a member of the Global Women’s Forum ‘Rising Talents’ network.

Clémentine Forissier
Clémentine Forissier

Associate and Co-Founder of Contexte, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Clémentine Forissier

Clémentine is a journalist who has gone from freelance reporting on the radio and in magazines to later becoming Chief Editor at EurActiv, France. She is now Chief Editor of Contexte, an online newspaper that focuses on French and European public policy which she co-founded in 2013. She is also Vice-President of Europresse, the association of French journalists who cover European affairs, and AJDE, an association for journalists who specifically report on energy issues. Educated in Paris and Brussels, Clémentine is a published author and was previously in charge of opening the Brussels office of the Robert Schuman Foundation.

Sander Loones
Sander Loones

Member of the European Parliament, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Sander Loones

Sander is a Belgian MEP and member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, and is Vice President of Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (The New Flemish Alliance). In the parliament, Sander is Vice Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and a member of Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Sander has previously worked for the Belgian Ministry of Interior Affairs in the migration office, and as a scientific researcher at the Law faculty of Catholic University Leuven, where he had earned his Masters degree in Law.

Giovanna Pancheri
Giovanna Pancheri

Brussels Correspondent at Sky TG 24 and Michal Olszewski / Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Giovanna Pancheri

US & UN Correspondent Sky TV Italia Business giovanna.pancheri@skytv.it 2015-2016 Italy Since 2009 Giovanna has been the Brussels Bureau Chief Correspondent for Belgium, France and Germany at SKY TG24, where she was previously a reporter and special correspondent covering the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her work has covered interviews with the US President Obama, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and French President François Hollande. She has obtained two Master’s degrees, the first in Political Science and International Relations at the Sapienza University of Rome, and the second in European Studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. She has authored numerous academic publications on Italian and international politics.

Photo of Sony Kapoor
Sony Kapoor

Managing Director of the think tank Re-Define, 2014 European Young Leader

Show more information on Sony Kapoor

Sony is the Director of the international think-tank Re-Define. He is an influential economist, financial sector expert and development practitioner. Sony advises the EU, central banks, large investors, governments, regulators and multilateral institutions on economic, fiscal, investment and financial policy. He has a multidisciplinary role at the London School of Economics as Strategy Adviser to the Systemic Risk Centre and Senior Visiting Fellow in Development and Public Policy. He is also a special adviser to the UNEP on green finance. Before Re-Define, Sony worked for ICICI, India’s largest investment bank. Sony co-founded the International Tax Justice Network, Europeans for Financial Reform and Finance Watch, and launched the inter-governmental Illicit Finance Task Force. His substantial contribution to financial reform, tackling the euro crisis and promoting development has been recognised by the World Economic Forum naming him a Young Global Leader and by the Royal Society of Arts electing him a Fellow.

Sandro Mendonça
Sandro Mendonça

Fellow of The German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Sandro Mendonça

Throughout an extensive and wide-ranging career in international organisations and institutions, Sandro Mendonça’s work has focused predominantly on the economics of innovation and industrial strategies. Mendonça is a Fellow of The German Marshall Fund of the United States and was a Visiting Fellow at King’s College London. In addition to serving as a board member of the Portuguese Communications Regulator (ANACOM), Mendonça was a science officer at the official Ibero-American Programme for Science and Technology (CYTED).  He has published in major international journals and has taught doctoral programmes in mainland China, namely Guanzhou and Chengdu. Sandro’s research has been used by various international organisations, including the United Nations, the European Commission and the US Senate. Mendonça was named a European Young Leader (EYL40) in 2015.  

Photo of Dimitris Tsigos
Dimitris Tsigos

Founder and CEO of StartTech Ventures, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Dimitris Tsigos

Dimitris is Founder and CEO of StartTech Ventures, a seed fund, incubator and business angel network for the ICT sector. The Group was the first Greek Seed Fund member of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and has helped launch more than ten successful IT start-ups. He is President of the Hellenic Start-up Association, a collective effort of Greek start-up entrepreneurs promoting high-growth and innovative entrepreneurship in Greece. He is also President of YES – the European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs, which is the leading organisation of youth entrepreneurship in Europe. He holds an MBA from the Athens University of Economics and Business and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Crete.

Photo of Malcolm Byrne
Malcolm Byrne

Head of Communications at the Irish Higher Education Authority, 2014 European Young Leader

Show more information on Malcolm Byrne

Malcolm is Head of Communications with the Higher Education Authority, the Irish state agency that advises government on higher education and research and funds the higher education institutions. He is also a councillor and former mayor for the centrist Fianna Fail party. He has previously served as Vice-President of the National Youth Council of Ireland, as Education Officer with the Union of Students in Ireland, as an Executive member of the European Students Union and as Youth Spokesperson for the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. He previously worked as commercial manager of myhome.ie, Ireland’s most successful property website and as chief executive of a national children’s organisation. A graduate in law and arbitration from University College Dublin, Malcolm is currently completing a Doctorate in Governance at Queen’s University Belfast. He has completed 26 marathons.

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