Jeremy Bliss

CEO HSBC Belgium 

Jeremy Bliss has been an International Manager with HSBC for over 12 years, holding positions in five countries on four continents during that time. Prior to becoming CEO & Head of Commercial Banking for HSBC Belgium in January 2014, Jeremy led HSBC's Commercial Banking activities in Peru.  He has also worked in the Global Banking division in Spain and Consumer Banking and Wealth Management divisions in Hong Kong and the United States.

Jeremy received his undergraduate degree from University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business and MBA from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.  Founded 150 years ago in Hong Kong and Shanghai, HSBC is now headquartered in London and has grown to become one of the world's largest banks, with 6100 offices and operations in over 70 countries and territories.


Shadowed by:

Ana Mihova, Bulgaria

Inge Boets

Managing Director Porter Novelli

Inge has been with Porter Novelli since 1998 and became managing director of Porter Novelli in Brussels in 2014, directing a staff of 30. Inge brings more than 15 years of corporate and marketing communications experience having worked with many leading multinationals and trade industry associations.

Inge’s competences include strategic consultancy, overall programme planning and execution, issues and crisis management, coordination of multi-country and multi-region communications programmes, media and stakeholders' relations, the creation of partnerships and alliance building programmes, working with key opinion leaders and advice in communication to end users or third party organizations,
Inge has a wide expertise in the chemical industry, having advised clients such as The Dow Chemical Company and Trinseo. Inge currently acts as the Client Relationship Leader for Dow, leading the account on a global level. Inge also has a wide expertise in the healthcare industry. Her experience spans many therapeutic areas, including hematology, bone loss, CNS, diabetology, men’s health, mental health, oncology, ophthalmology and woman’s health. 


Shadowed by:

Patricia Molnárová, Slovakia

Damien Bourgeois

Head of CRM and Customer Intelligence, AXA Belgium 

I’m Damien Bourgeois, 47 years old, and marketeer from the beginning of my career. My job is a passion and I’m paid for it ! I always worked in the financial sector, from an American insurance company to an online banking in the early 2000 to AXA I joined in 2002. I made a lot in products, direct marketing, strategy, brand and since 2011 in CRM, first in AXA France and since July 2014 in AXA Belgium as Head of CRM and Customer intelligence. I like sharing with others, listening to experts in any matter, working in depth with my team and peers, pushing for innovation and building new businesses.

I appreciate good sense of humour, food (I’m also French) and good wines, modern art, music, fighting against myself in sport and be challenged in my thinking by my great son (17 years old).”


Shadowed by:

Anastasia Schoinochoriti,


Daniel Calleja-Crespo

Director General, DG Environment, European Commission

Since 1st September 2015, Mr. Daniel Calleja is Director General of DG Environment. Daniel Calleja was Director General of DG Entreprise and Industry from February 2012 to August 2015 in charge of internal markets for goods, competitiveness and innovation, SMEs and entrepreneurship, international negotiations and tourism. Before that, he was the Deputy Director General of DG Enterprise and Industry, from February 2011 to January 2012.

He was also the Special Envoy for SMEs. Mr Calleja was Director for Air Transport at the European Commission from November 2004 to February 2011, in charge of the single European aviation market and its external dimension. He has successfully negotiated, on behalf of the E.U., the EU-US Open Skies Agreement. He was the Chairman of the Air Safety and the Single Sky Committees and Chairman of the Board of the SESAR Joint Undertaking.

M. Calleja is the author of several publications. He has lectured in European Law in several universities and institutes of various Member States. Mr Calleja has a degree in Law and in Business Administration from the University of Comillas, Madrid


Shadowed by:

Kosara Yankova, Bulgaria

Carlos Rodriguez Cocina

Head of Brussels Office, Telefonica

Carlos Rodríguez started his career in Telefónica as Legal Adviser for the Directorate of EU & International Regulatory Affairs in 1999. In 2003 he moved to the position of Senior Adviser in EU & International Regulatory Affairs in Telefónica’s Brussels Office.

In August 2008 he was appointed Manager of Regulatory Affairs of Telefónica Internacional USA, Inc. acting as the first permanent representative of Telefónica’s Group in Washington DC. Within this position he tracked the regulatory policy debate in the US, anticipating potential issues of interest for Telefónica in Europe and Latin America and spreading Telefónica's vision of the sector as a global leader among public and private stakeholders.

Since May 2013, he holds the position of Head of Telefónica’s Brussels Office, leading its regulatory and public policy team in the interaction with the EU institutions. In this capacity he is currently representing Telefónica in the Executive Board of ETNO and the Board of Management of the European Internet Forum.


Shadowed by:

Andrea Aspesi, Italy


Ed Read Cutting

Director, The Fry Group 

Ed has worked in the Brussels office since its formation (as Fulcra) in 1996 and has been instrumental in establishing the company's profile and reputation in Belgium. A commission as an infantry officer in the Royal Regiment of Wales saw time spent in a variety of locations which terminated in Hong Kong where Ed worked as a financial adviser with Asia’s largest firm – then part of the Jardine Matheson group. An economics graduate, Ed has a keen interest in investment analysis, and also specialises in Belgian corporate pensions. Ed is a keen contributor to both the local and international Brussels community; he is a Past President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (2003-05) and remains a current member of the Council. He is also:

  • Chair of the British Chamber Training and Skills for Business Task Force
  • Council Member of the Brussels British Community Association
  • Chairman of the Brussels Branch of the Royal British Legion
  • Patron Brussels Barbarians Rugby Football Club
  • Member of the British School of Brussels Sub Finance Group

Shadowed by:

Vasco Quintino, Portugal


Sebastien Deletaille

CEO, Real Impact Analytics

Sébastien is the co-founder and CEO at Real Impact Analytics. He drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth as it transforms telecom data into action. Sébastien’s leadership is taking a great team of 100+ exceptional achievers to 30+ countries implementing our analytics products.

Sébastien launched Real Impact Analytics with Loïc Jacobs van Merlen to meet the need for “Big Data” analytics globally. With Real Impact Analytics, Sébastien has been developing analytics and business intelligence solutions as well as products for telecom operators since 2009. Sébastien and his Co-founder, Loic Jacobs van Merlen, both attended the same High School and University.

Sébastien has made 60+ implementations happen across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Prior to launching Real Impact Analytics, Sébastien worked for McKinsey & Company. He still is a board member to McKinsey Alumni for Belgium and Luxembourg. He holds a Msc in Business Engineering from Solvay Business School (ULB) from which he graduated Summa cum Laude. He also supports entrepreneurship and education organizations.


Shadowed by:

Luis Fernandez, Spain

Martina Dlabajova

MEP, European Parliament

Martina Dlabajová (born 26th July 1976) is a Czech businesswoman and international consultant, former president of the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Zlin Region (2012 – 2014). Since 2014 she is a Member of the European Parliament. For many years she was the coordinator of the Office of the Zlin Region in Brussels. At the end of 2012, was elected the president of the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Zlín Region. She also founded and managed several companies in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Italy. 

She was appointed as a Vice-Chair in the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and substitute in the Committee on Transport and Tourism. She initiated the Parliamentary Intergroup for Creative Industries and was appointed its Vice-President.


Shadowed by:

Nikola Sýkorová, Czech Republic

Didier Hamann

Editor in Chief - General Manager, Le Soir

Nationality : German

Date of birth : September 6 th, 1963

Langue(s) : French, Dutch, English and Italian

Academic formation : degree in journalism et spécial degree in business management.

Career : Journalist for Le Soir, Le Peuple, L'Instant (Chief of the economic desk), La Dernère Heure (economics journalist), SudPresse (Chief of general information, Editor in Chief, General Director). General Director of Le Soir since December 2009 and Director & Editor in Chief of Le Soir since September 1st, 2011. Lecturer at the School of Journalism in Louvain-La-Neuve.


Shadowed by:

Davide Puleo, Italy

Xavier Hormaechea

Director Public Affairs EU, UCB

Xavier Hormaechea is Director Public Affairs for UCB. He joined UCB in 2001 after having spent 4 years at Solutia (Former Chemical Business of Monsanto). After 6 years in Global Marketing (Market Research and Global Brand Management) he joined the Corporate Public Affairs department of UCB in 2006.

He is a graduate from the Catholic University of Louvain (Political Sciences & International Relations in 1994 and Communications in 1993) and from the VLEKHO Business School (Business Administration in 1997)


Shadowed by:

Dimitros Ntaras, Greece

Dirk Jacobs

Deputy Director General, Food Drink Europe

Dirk Jacobs is Deputy Director General and Director in charge of Consumer Information, Diet and Health issues at FoodDrinkEurope.

As Deputy Director General, Mr Jacobs supports the Director General in the general management and external representation of the organisation. Furthermore, he co-ordinates and manages the European food and drink industry’s positions in areas related to consumer information (including food labelling) and diet, nutrition and health.

Mr Jacobs is a Dutch national and has a BSc and MSc in International Business Administration at Maastricht University, studied international economics in Milan, Italy, and has a post-graduate MBA in European (Business) Studies.


Shadowed by:

Jeroen Vandevenne, Belgium

Philippe Jadoul

CEO Vialegis

Philippe Jadoul obtained his law degree at the University of Antwerp and thereafter participated in the “European Young Lawyers Scheme” in London. He also completed an Executive MBA (Purdue University and TiasNimbas Business School) as well as a master corporate finance at the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. Philippe started his career at the bar of Antwerp, after which he worked as an associate M&A and corporate law at Clifford Chance (Brussels and London). From 1995 till 2006 he was partner at law firm Altius.

Philippe was one of the co-founders of Vialegis. At the end of 2007, Philippe became responsible for the international expansion of Vialegis. Since 1st April 2010, he is also in charge of the Belgian activities of Vialegis.   He mainly deals with partner and team searches on the Belgian marke


Shadowed by:

Benjamin Schriel, The Netherlands

Danuta Jazłowiecka

MEP, European Parliament

Danuta Jazłowiecka MEP is Member of the European Parliament since 2009, active in the Employment and Social Affairs as well as Economic and Monetary Affairs Committees. She works actively on mobility- related issues, social services, skills shortages, population ageing and demographic challenges as well as youth- related issues. She is the former rapporteur of the Posting of workers Enforcement Directive as well as of the Own Initiative Report on Social Investments. She is the current Vice-Chair of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

Before joining the EP she served as Member of the Polish Sejm, she was also the Chair of the Delegation to the Council of Europe.


Shadowed by:

Maciej Bergier, Poland

Alexandros Koronakis

Director New Europe


Alexandros Koronakis is the Director of New Europe Group, spearheading digital development projects, and facilitating growth of the media group’s on- and off-line services. A journalist accredited to the EU Institutions, Alexandros served as Editor-in-Chief of New Europe prior to his current role.

Outside of New Europe, Alexandros also advises political leaders on campaign strategy and speech writing, and provides consulting services to governmental, commercial, and civil society bodies on media management, digital development, and political strategy. Alexandros holds an MSc in Cognitive and Decision Sciences from University College London, and an MA in Political Strategy and Communication from the University of Kent. He earned a BA in Communications from Vesalius College - Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Read more


Shadowed by:

Kätlin Tammiste, Estonia

Karim Lesina

Vice-President AT&T

Karim Antonio Lesina is Vice President of AT&T for International External Affairs focusing specifically on EU, Caribbean, Central, Latin America and Transatlantic relations. He leads AT&T's advocacy in those regions. He is also the Chair of AmChamEU Presidency Group and Chair of the AmChamEU Digital Economy Committee. He is a board member of the European Internet Foundation and President of the Association EGO.
Prior to joining AT&T, Karim held senior positions with another leading US-headquartered ICT company, and a number of leading public affairs agencies in Brussels. Karim has worked on external affairs projects in several countries across the EMEA region. Born in Dakar (Senegal), Karim is an Italian-Tunisian national and has a Master Degree in Economics of development at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve.


Shadowed by:

Ahmed Msheliza, Bulgaria






Odile Ledesert

HR Director Belgilux, Nestle

Odile LEDESERT, French citizen/nationality.

Studies at the Institute of Political Studies (Paris) and Harvard University (Boston)

25 years of experience in Human Resources:

  • HR consulting (Compensation & Benefits)
  • Compensation & Benefits Manager for Thomson Multimedia
  • Various roles of HR Generalists and HR Director for Thomson Multimedia and Visteon
  • Joined Nestlé in 2001 as a Head of HR for Nestlé Research Centre in Lausanne. Then, various positions at Nestlé's International Headquarters in Switzerland as Recruitment Leader, Head of HR GLOBE, Head of International Mobility.
  • In 2009, Odile was transferred to Nestlé Romania market as Head of HR at the local market level.
  • In 2011, mission at Nestlé France as HR Business Excellence Manager.
  • Since 1 May 2013, HR Director Nestlé Benelux, then Belgilux only.

Shadowed by:

Hubert Mikołajczyk, Poland

Francois Lhemery

Senior Director of Policy for Microsoft EMEA

François Lhémery joined Microsoft in 2001 as the Legal Director for Microsoft France. He went up to hold several high level positions such as Director of Strategic Affairs, responsible for Microsoft Citizenship program in France, and Director of Consumer products and online services EMEA.

In October, 2012 François took on his current role as Senior Director of EMEA Policy within the Legal and Corporate Affairs Department at Microsoft Brussels. In this role, François works with and manages a team whose primary role is to formulate the company’s policy positioning in EMEA and to support the work of the LCA field representatives on issues such as IP, privacy and security, telecom, standardization, environment, etc.

Prior to joining Microsoft, François worked as Vice-president Legal & Corporate Communications Director for a French Internet start-up, Netarget (2000 -2001). Prior to this, we worked as regional counsel for Procter & Gamble, where he started his career in 1994.


Shadowed by:

Paulo Ferreira, Portugal

Neil McMillan

Director Advocacy and Political Affairs, EuroCommerce

Neil McMillan CMG - is Director, Advocacy and Political Affairs at EuroCommerce, the principal representative of 5.5 million European retail and wholesale companies. Before joining EuroCommerce, he was a Partner in Brunswick Group, a public affairs consultancy in Brussels, advising clients on EU policy and government affairs.

For most of his career, he was a UK diplomat and civil servant, lastly as Director of the Prime Minister's European Policy staff, and before then Director EU policy at the then Dept of Trade and Industry. He served abroad in the UK Representation in Brussels and as UK Permanent Representative to the WTO in Geneva, as well as on secondment to the German civil service.


Shadowed by:

Anmolpreet Singh, Italy

Anna McNally

Communications Director, AmCham

Anna joined AmCham EU as Communications Director in February 2009. Anna is responsible for all internal and external communications, media, social media and events. Previously Anna worked as a Policy Advisor to the Seattle City Council for four years before moving to King County government in Washington State where she worked in the King County Executive's office overseeing healthcare policy. Following that she worked in communications at the King County/Boeing Field airport in Seattle. After relocating to Brussels Anna managed communications at FedEx Express for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa region. Here she was responsible for all external and crisis communications for over 120 countries. Anna also oversaw FedEx's Corporate Social Responsibility programme and served as its Advisor for Environment and Sustainability.

Anna received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa.


Shadowed by:

Barbara Bujalková

Wim Mijs

CEO European Banking Federation

Wim Mijs started as Chief Executive of European Banking Federation in September 2014. He started his career teaching at the faculty of Law of the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) until 1990 and worked at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Peace Palace in The Hague until 1993. He then joined ABN AMRO in Amsterdam before moving to Brussels to head the ABN AMRO EU Liaison Office. Mr Mijs moved back to The Hague in 2003 where he became the Head of Government Affairs for ABN AMRO. From 2001 to 2007 he was Chair of the Financial Markets Committee of the European Banking Federation, and was appointed Chief Executive of the Dutch Banking Association in 2007. He holds a Law degree from the University of Leiden.


Shadowed by:

Neal Swaelens, Belgium

Sean Murray

Director EUK Consulting

Sean Murray has 25 years experience in communications and public affairs with multinational companies in a variety of business sectors. His early career included five years in sales with an international shipping company. Between 1987 and 1990, Sean held senior positions in corporate communications with GE (USA) and Unisys.

He joined the Brussels office of Philip Morris in 1991 handling media relations, internal communications and lobbying. He was appointed Director EU Government Relations in 1999. Sean joined EUK in 2003 to set up its Brussels office. He is fluent in French, German and Italian having taught modern languages and worked in a number of European countries.


Shadowed by:

Mert Gulen,

Luc Opdebeeck

General Manager for Belgium, HP

Luc Opdebeeck is Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard (HP) Belgium & Luxembourg and Country Manager of Enterprise Group. As Managing Director Luc is the face of HP in Belgium & Luxembourg developing and driving our growth potential and extending HP’s leadership position in these markets. He is coordinating business strategies across Business Groups focusing on growth and leading the transition to the new style of IT while delivering the best customer and partner experience.

As the MD for HP BeLux, Luc also ensures that HP upholds all fiduciary and legal requirements and is accountable to foster strong employee engagement with the goal of making HP an employer of choice in the IT industry. As Country Manager Enterprise Group he is leading this Business Unit and is chartered to drive revenue, profitability and market shares growth. With Converged Infrastructure, Converged Cloud and Software Defined Data Center, HP Enterprise Group has a unique portfolio of best-of-breed components - from Servers and Storage to Networking - delivered as integrated solutions and wrapped in technology services. This portfolio enables customers to increase agility, lower the cost of operations and drive innovation for better business outcomes.

Over the course of his more than 27 year-career Luc has built extensive leadership and operational knowledge at country, regional and EMEA level in well-known IT companies like Apple, Microsoft and Sun/Oracle. He has delivered impressive results in terms of revenue growth and organisational transformation organizations and is well recognized in the IT industry.


Shadowed by:

Patryk Pilarski, Poland

Tom Parker

Managing Partner, Cambre Associates

Tom is a well-known figure in the Brussels government relations and public affairs community. In a career spanning two decades, he has worked with organisations across a wide range of sectors, counselling on EU affairs and pan–European advocacy campaigns.  Tom has also worked on some of Europe’s highest profile reputational challenges and provides counsel on issues management and crisis communication at European and global levels.

Tom is an active member of the British business community in Brussels and is a regular commentator on lobbying practice and the future of the advocacy profession. 


Shadowed by:

Afonso de Almeida, Portugal 

Eva Paunova

MEP, European Parliament

Eva Paunova is a Member of the European Parliament representing the European People´s Party (EPP) and the Bulgarian party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). She is part of the Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and the special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE). Ms Paunova is also member of the Delegations for Relations with China and the United States at the EP.

Among Ms Paunova´s other positions positions are Vice-President of the largest organisation of associations and civil societies in Europe "European Movement International" (EMI), Chairwoman of the Youth Intergroup at the EP, member of the EPP Young Members Network and the EU40 board. Eva Paunova is also part of the National Executive Council of Entrepreneurs-GERB and honorary member of the Council of Women in business in Bulgaria.


Shadowed by:

Martina Apostolova, Bulgaria

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial

MEP, European Parliament

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, is a Spanish politician. Since 2009 she has served as a Member of the European Parliament, representing Spain for the  Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, Member.


  • Committee on Budgets, Member
  • Committee on Transport and Tourism, Substitute
  • Committee on Development, Substitute


  • Delegation for relations with India, Member
  • Delegation to the EU-Kazakhstan, EU-Kyrgyzstan and EU-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees, and for relations with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia, Substitute

Shadowed by:

Carlos Blanco, Spain

Michaela Šojdrová

MEP, European Parliament

Born on 28 October 1963 in Zlín, Czech Republic. 1996-2010, she was repeatedly elected to the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament. Between 2010-2014 she worked at the HQ of the Czech School Inspection and in 2014 she was elected MEP (KDU-CSL, EPP Group). She is vice-chairwoman of the Committee on Education and Culture.


Shadowed by:

Šárka Königová, Czech Republic

James Stevens

Senior VP and Senior Partner FleishmanHillard

James Stevens provides EU public affairs and communications counsel to corporate and trade association clients in the chemicals and energy sectors. He joined FleishmanHillard in Brussels in 2002 and has risen through the company, growing the company’s presence in the market and diversifying its service offering. He became a Senior Partner in 2014. In 2010 he spent a year in the company’s Washington D.C. office.

He is currently a member of the leadership team of the Brussels office, Head of the Energy Sector Group in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and member of the leadership team of the firm’s Global Public Affairs Practice. Outside of FleishmanHillard he is the Chair of the EU Committee of the British Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 he was named the European Public Affairs Professional of the Year. He has degrees from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and the College of Europe (Natolin, Poland). He is married with three children and speaks English, French and Italian.


Shadowed by:

Marcus Laffoucrière, Malta

Anso Thiré

Head of Business Development Euroclear

I am a Belgian, married - 4 children and a proud grandfather of another 5 grandchildren. I have studied various areas (in multiple countries) and hold degrees in Economics, Econometrics, Engineering and an MBA.
But above all I am keen on behavior science, organizational design, energy creation in companies, all modern management theory (especially vertical integration management).

I joined Euroclear ages ago but was able to move a lot; functions in Finance, Commercial and Strategy. Before I was with Touche Ross and Almanij. I was CEO for the 2 business we have in Sweden and Finland (and lived there). I now run Business Development out of London, so I have no staff/team in Brussels.

I am 57, very keen golfer but above all a keen coach for the businesses of my children, and being granddad...
And I have a great wife!


Shadowed by:

Tomáš Krupník, 

Czech Republic 


Thomas Tindemans

CEO Hill+Knowlton 

Thomas Tindemans is a Belgian national with more than 20 years’ experience in EU Public Affairs and communications. He has an extensive track record of advising corporate, government and NGO clients on their public and corporate affairs strategies.  He covers regulatory, legislative and political developments at EU and Member States level, as well as global developments and relations between the EU and the rest of the world.

His expertise covers internal market regulation, including free movement of goods and services, healthcare, intellectual property, environmental policy, energy, new technologies, financial services, media, tax and other areas of EU competence.  He developed public affairs support in competition cases and trade negotiations and disputes.  Thomas also counsels clients on public affairs aspects of foreign policy.

Thomas Tindemans is co-head of Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Global PA Practice. Thomas is a guest lecturer on EU lobbying and interest representation at various academic institutions in Europe. He speaks Dutch, English, French and German and has a law degree.


Shadowed by:

Tomas Šindel, Czech Republic

Gert Vaerenberg

Director of Experis Belgium (ManpowerGroup brand) 

Geert Vaerenberg (born 1965, married and father of four) graduated as a PhD in Chemistry, but never actually worked in that domain. Instead he kicked off his career in 1996, starting at the operational level in the Belfius insurance ICT department in Brussels.

That department was carved out later on, to be merged with its P&V insurances counterpart into the Rainbow ICT services joint venture. Geert left in 2003 to join the ICT management team at Acerta, a Leuven based HR services group, where he held different positions managing several teams.

In 2008 he finally returned to Brussels where he joined the ManpowerGroup to become the ICT and Marketing director for Belgium and Luxemburg.

Five years later, in 2013, Geert switched sides within ManpowerGroup from support services to sales and operations. He has been the Benelux Director for the Experis brand since.


Shadowed by:

Nikola Rybárová, Slovakia

Adina-Ioana Vălean

MEP, European Parliament

Adina Ioana Vălean is the Vice President of the European Parliament, on behalf of the EPP Group, elected for the first two and a half years of the legislature. As a politician, Vălean is innovative in structure, scope and philosophy. Her take on European issues is considered progressive and daring. In 2012, granted her the title of the most powerful lawmaker in the EP.

In the 2014-2019 legislative term, she is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and a member of the Delegation for the relations with the United States, as well as a substitute in the Committee on International Trade. Her work is focused on telecommunications, industry and energy. Adina Vălean has been a member of the European Parliament since 2007. Her current work is a continuation of what she initiated in her previous mandates, as a member of the ITRE, PETI and LIBE Committees.


Shadowed by:

Rares Vasilescu, Romania

Vincent Van Dessel

Chairman & CEO NYSE Euronext

In September 2009, he has been appointed Chairman and CEO of Euronext Brussels and member of the Management Committee of the NYSE Euronext Group. He started his career as a stockbroker in 1984. He joined the Brussels Stock Exchange in 1992 as Director Markets and Listing and later became member of the management board of the Brussels Exchanges.At the merger of the Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels exchanges into Euronext in September 2000, he became member of the executive committee. From January 2000 to June 2003, he was President of the Market Authority of the Brussels Exchanges, responsible for members admission, listing, company information and the supervision of the markets.

Since 2003, he was General Manager of Euronext Brussels. He is Licenciaat-Doctorandus in Applied Economics at the KULeuven University, Belgium and is also guest lecturer in several universities of which the Solvay Business School in Brussels, ICHEC, FUCAM and Paris Sorbonne. He is married and father of twins born in 1990.


Shadowed by:

Arnaud Böhmer, Belgium

Glenn Vaughan


As Chief Executive of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium since 2008, Glenn has focused on driving value-added for business. As a result, the chamber has become a leading network for international business, and multiple award winner.

He works with major international companies and senior decision makers on policies affecting the environment for business, as well as helping to grow British-Belgian business including trade and investment.

During 20 years’ experience in Brussels, Glenn has advised regional development agencies, scientific organizations and businesses on EU policy and funding. He was part of the small Brussels team that successfully lobbied for €2bn EU funding for Wales and was later MD of the Brussels-based Welsh representation until 2005.


Shadowed by:

Pedro Vidau,

Daniela Vincenti

Managing Editor EurActiv

As editor-in-chief at, Daniela leads a team of 10 journalists covering EU politics and policies and coordinates reporting with EurActiv media partners in 15 European countries. She joined EurActiv in 2008, when she supervised 33 professionals across Europe to provide relevant and timely content on the 2009 European Parliament elections. Previously, she helped NGOs and think tanks carve effective communication strategies to boost their visibility and influence policy-makers throughout Europe.

Daniela has worked as a journalist for more than 20 years in Italy, the United States and Germany, where she was the financial correspondent for Il Messaggero. She has written for many media outlets, including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, L’Indipendente, Il Giornale and the Christian Science Monitor. Educated at the Sorbonne in Paris and Columbia University in New York, she is a dual national of France and Italy, a true European, and a proud mother. Specialties: European politics and economics; BRICS; Transatlantic relations; deliberative democracy; employment and social affairs; climate change.


Shadowed by:

Nikolas Rønholt, Denmark

Barbara Wynne

Director EU Government Relations, Accenture

Barbara Wynne is Director, EU Government Relations based in Brussels. She is responsible for Accenture’s government relations programmes and activities towards the European Union and its institutions. This includes Accenture's external positioning and engagement with key policy-makers to help grow our business and protect our corporate interests. Since joining Accenture in October 2007, she has supported a number of businesses including Health & Public Services, Strategy, Sustainability Services, Resources, Retail and Technology.

Barbara graduated with a BA International in History and French from University College Dublin (UCD) and Université Lumière Lyon II; holds an MA in European Studies from UCD, a diploma in Applied European Law from the Law Society of Ireland and an MBA in European Management, Strategy and Marketing from Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles. 

Prior to Accenture, Barbara worked with the Irish Business & Employers' Confederation for over seven years in both Dublin, as an Environmental Policy Executive, and in Brussels, on EU Affairs.


Shadowed by:

Tilde Dahlmann, Denmark


Here you can find more information about Globalisation that will help you pass the GEP Globalisation Quiz.

What is Globalisation?

Globalisation refers to the increasing unification of the world's economic order through reduction of such barriers to international trade as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas. The goal is to increase material wealth, goods, and services through an international division of labor by efficiencies catalyzed by international relations, specialization and competition. It describes the process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through communication, transportation, and trade.

The term is most closely associated with the term economic globalisation: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, the spread of technology, and military presence.

Useful resources on Globalisation: Wikipedia | Essay by The Yale Center for the Study of Globalisation


The processes that we now think of as “globalization” were central to the environmental cause well before the term “globalisation” came into its current usage. Global environmental concerns were born out of the recognition that ecological processes do not always respect national boundaries and that environmental problems often have impacts beyond borders; sometimes globally. Connected to this was the notion that the ability of humans to act and think at a global scale also brings with it a new dimension of global responsibility— not only to planetary resources but also to planetary fairness.

These ideas were central to the defining discourse of contemporary environmentalism in the 1960s and 1970s1 and to the concept of sustainable development that took root in the 1980s and 1990s.

The current debate on globalisation has become de-linked from its environmental roots and contexts. It is very important to take into account the links between environment and globalisation not to miss out some of the most pressing environmental challenges faced by humanity.

More about Globalisation & the Environment:

Demographic Changes

How globalisation affected demographic trends and how demographic trends affected globalisation?

The following videos will give you an insight on how globalisation has influenced the world's demography and its main dimensions: fertility, mortality and immigration.

Labour Market

As a result of the increase in trade in goods and services and as capital flows across borders combined with the development and spread of technologies, labour markets have also become more integrated. The manufacturing employment is declining and the service sector is raising. Soft skills such as communication, team work, entrepreneurial skills and foreign languages are becoming more and more important.

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As the world is getting smaller our learning opportunities are multiplying. Education is on the verge of a major shift, with new technologies changing the way we learn and connect to each other.

Now, you don't necessarily have to be in a classroom to attend a university or a high school - you just need a connection to internet and a device. It can be that simple. there are numerous platforms that offer online free courses in various domains such as economics, marketing, math, social science, languages, programming or even medicine.

As the world is getting smaller our learning habits should shift and keep up with the changes in our environment. We are now training to become global citizens: learning multiple languages, learning about the history of other countries or keeping up with world economics issues.

We need to be informed and educated in order to make the best decisions for us and for the world around us.


Technology has always been an important catalyst for growth and globalisation. The world is growing smaller and technology is helping by bringing people closer together. Nowadays you can connect with someone across the planet in a matter of seconds free of charge. You can see different places without even travelling anywhere and you can find out in real time what is happening around the globe. YouTube, Facebook or Google changed the way we communicate and learn. The WWW has been one of the most revolutionizing inventions that shaped the world as we know it.

Technology is changing the way we communicate, work, do business and connect with each other. It is important to understand and anticipate the opportunities that technology has to offer in order to better maximize them as a young social entrepreneur.

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Culture & Society

Because we are closer than ever to each other we need to be more aware and understand the cultural background of our friends, neighbors or co-workers. Because of the rapid pace of globalisation the planet is growing smaller and smaller.

We are now over 7 bilion people and it is estimated that by 2050 the world population will reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion. This means that we will be a lot of people each with our own different social, ethnical and religious background living on the same (now smaller) planet. Understanding and accepting each other will be crucial! We usually tend to fear what we don't understand, so make an effort and read about different religions, understand the cultural background of different ethnic groups and you will see that we are not that different!

Cultural diversity will be something that will define our world in the years to come and also something that will make it unique and special. So we should celebrate and embrace diversity and the cultural richness of our society!

All the teams participating in the Company Programme this year qualified for the National Global Enterprise Award, which was an award given at national level for mini-companies that fulfilled the following criteria:

  • Strong mini-company performance - The mini-company showed that it could be profitable and competitive, bring benefits to shareholders and secure long-term growth and job security.
  • Globalisation - The team showed understanding of the global business environment (the opportunities and challenges globalisation poses to their business) and their product/ service was scalable on a global market.
  • International Cooperation - The team had an excellent understanding of international trade and presented how they took advantage of any kind of cooperation.
  • Teamwork - This criterion assessed the way in which the team worked together and the way in which the product was presented by the team.

All teams selected as the National recipients of the Global Enterprise Award moved to a second stage, the European selection, where they had to prepare their concept paper and presentation video for a European Jury panel.

European Jury Panel in 2014:

  • Repsol: Maria Isabel Fernandez Alba, Director of International Organizations and European Affairs at Repsol,
  • Alcatel-Lucent:
    • Elisabeth Eude, Director of Alcatel-Lucent Foundation
    • Rudi Broos, Innovation Director for Bell Labs Belgium, Alcatel-Lucent
  • SAP: Reza Solhi, Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA, SAP
  • Siemens: Thomas Leubner, Chief Learning Officer Siemens AG
  • SmurfitKappa:
    • Erik Van Den Bos, HR Director Paper Division at Smurfit Kappa Group
    • Julio Calvo Bodan, Divisional HR Coordinator, Paper Division Europe, Smurfit Kappa Group
    • Steven Stoffer, Group Vice President at Smurfit Kappa Group

Read more about the European Winner in 2015, Schoolgo from Spain

Over the course of the school year, students created and managed their own real enterprise, learning how to bring a business idea from concept to reality, with the guidance and support of teachers and business mentors.

  • Working in groups and under the guidance of teachers and business volunteers, they formed their own enterprise and discovered, first hand, how a company functions.
  • As part of this programme they developed the ability to generate ideas and turn them into action.
  • They learned how to work in a team, take initiative and accept responsibility.
  • Students experienced what it means to manage a real enterprise and understood how economics and finance contribute to the project’s success.

Main Learning Outcomes of the Company Programme:

  • Company structure and roles: I know how companies are structured;
  • Idea generation and business opportunity: I know how to evaluate an idea and how to turn it into a business opportunity;
  • Customer Focus: I understand why customer focus is important for an entrepreneur;
  • Marketing Strategies: I can explain the concept of marketing and I know there are various marketing tactics techniques and resources;
  • Business Plan: I am able to create a business plan;
  • Design and Production: I am able to coordinate the production of a product or the implementation of a service;
  • Sales strategies: I am able to identify effective sales strategies;
  • Financial literacy: I understand the financial aspects of entrepreneurship and how a business generates profit;
  • Presentation techniques and communication skills: I know how to present my idea.

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