Plenary speakers(In order of appearance)
Ilze Brands Kehris has been the Chairperson of the FRA Management Board since the beginning of 2010. Ms Brands Kehris is Director of the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, located in The Hague. Prior to this, she was the Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights. She was also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities from 2006 to 2010, where she held the position of First Vice-President. Ms Brands Kehris was Vice-Chairperson of the Management Board of the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) from 2004 to 2007, and has since been a member of the FRA's Executive Board.
Radosław Sikorski has been the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2007. From 2005 to 2007, Mr Sikorski served as a Minister for National Defence. Prior to that, from 2002 to 2005, he held various positions including that of resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative. Mr Sikorski was Deputy Minister for National Defence in 1992 and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1998-2001. He was also an Honorary Chairman of the Foundation for Assistance to Poles in the East. Mr Sikorski was a war correspondent in Afghanistan and Angola in 1986-89. He won the World Press Photo award in 1987.
Cecilia Malmström has been European Commissioner in charge of Home Affairs since February 2010. Among her various responsibilities are EU work on police ccoperation, border control, asylum and migration. From 2006 to 2010 Ms Malmström served as Minister for EU Affairs in the swedish government. In the second half of 2009 she was responsible for coordination of the preparatory work amd implementation of the Swedish Presidency of the EU. Prior to that Ms Malmström was a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2006, working mainly on foreign affairs, human rights, EU enlargement and constitutional issues. Ms Malmström has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Gothenburg, where she worked for a number of years as a researcher and taught European politics.
Claude Moraes is Member of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). He is currently Spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament for the LIBE Committee and Deputy Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party. First elected to the European Parliament in 1999 for London, Mr Moraes was the first British MEP of Asian origin. He was previously Director of Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the National Migration and Refugee charity, and Chief Executive of the Immigrants' Aid Trust. Prior to that he held a senior position in the British Trades Union Congress and was UK Commissioner for Race Equality. Through his legal background, Claude has campaigned, written widely and provided regular media commentary on human rights and migration issues and organised legal test cases in UK and the European Courts.
Belinda Pyke is the European Commission Director for Migration and Borders. She took up the post in the Directorate-General for Home Affairs in April 2011. She was the Director for Equality between 2007 and March 2011, and has held a broad range of posts since joining the European Commission in 1986.
Kyung-wha Kang has been United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights since January 2007. Before joining the United Nations, Ms Kang was Ambassador for Multilateral Affaires and Director-General of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, with a portfolio that covered a wide range of UN issues, including human rights. She also served at the Republic of Korea Mission to the United Nations in New York and chaired the Commission on the Status of Women for its 48th session in 2004 and its 49th session in 2005. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1998, Ms Kang worked for the National Parliament of the Republic of Korea, assisting the Speaker of the National Assembly on global issues in the fields of human rights, women's advancement and parliamentary diplomacy.
Morten Kjaerum is Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Prior to taking this position in June 2008, Mr Kjaerum worked on human rights for 25 years. Having started his career in the non-governmental sector in the Danish Refugee Council, he then directed the Danish Centre for Human Rights from 1991 to 2002, and was the founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. He was also a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the President of the International Coordination Committee for National Human Rights Institutions, a network coordinating relations between the UN and national institutions. Mr Kjaerum has written extensively on issues relating to human rights, in particular on refugee law, the prohibition against racial discrimination, and the role of national human rights institutions. He has also been involved in numerous human rights capacity-building projects across the world.
Feliciano Barreiras Duarte is Secretary of State to the Deputy and Parliamentary Affairs Minister in Portugal. Among other areas, his responsibilities include immigration and integration. Between 2002 and 2005, he was also Secretary of State responsible for immigration and its integration perspective. During his time in office an internationally recognised ‘one-stop-shop’ for immigrants was established. Mr Barreiras Duarte is also a visiting scholar at Berkeley, California and has lectured for 14 years on Political Science and International Relations at the Lusófona University in Lisbon.
Nikolaos Dendias has been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (EPP/CD) since 2004 and President of the Sub-Committee on Migration since January 2010. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Greek National Parliament and currently serves as a spokesperson of the Nea Dimokratia political party. Prior to that Mr Dendias served as Minister of Justice from January to October 2009, and was later responsible for citizen protection in the shadow cabinet until January 2011. He is also an Attorney-at-Law and the main partner of the DVCI Law Firm.
Ilkka Laitinen has been Executive Director of Frontex since May 2005. Mr Laitinen has dealt with border-control issues both at the national and European level for the past 30 years. In his home country Finland, he has reached the rank of Brigadier General. Mr Laitinen started his career with the Finnish Border Guard working on the border with the former USSR. He later joined the Finnish Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and was heavily involved in the performance of Schengen evaluations. He was Co-chairman of the FRONTIERS Council Working Party and a Director of the EU Risk Analysis Centre.
Luc Van den Brande has been Chairman of the Commission for Citizenship, Governance, Institutional and External Affairs (CIVEX) Commission since 2010. Prior to that, he was President of the Committee of the Regions from 2008-2010, being a member since 1994. He was Minister-President of the Government of Flanders from 1992-1999 as well as Minister in the Federal Belgian Government. From 1977-2009 he held numerous mandates in the Belgian and Flemish parliaments and he has also been member of the parliamentary assemblies of the Council of Europe and the Western European Union. Since October 2011, he is Special Adviser to EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for regional policy, advising on how to strengthen the role of regions and municipalities in cohesion policy and the EU2020 strategy with special emphasis on multi-level governance.
Henrik Ankerstjerne is Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Danish Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs. Throughout his career Mr Ankerstjerne held different senior management positions at the Danish Immigration Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later the Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs. In various capacities he has been responsible for asylum and migration matters and has worked with UNHCR, IGC, IOM, ICMPD and other actors in the field.
Oleksandra Gusak is citizen of Ukraine, who came to Poland in 2001. Most of her time in Poland was as an undocumented migrant, facing the challenges of day-to-day life. Looking for a way out of irregularity, Ms Gusak initiated the Committee for Migrants for Regularisation and mobilized migrants to come out and highlight their expectations of regularisation. The Committee’s activities facilitated the process of drafting legislation on regularisation. For almost a year now, she has a regular status in Poland. She currently works for the Foundation for Development Beyond Borders.
Adriano Silvestri has been working with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, where he is Programme Manager - Legal Research, in charge of projects on asylum, immigration, borders and return since 2009. Prior to that Mr Silvestri spent 14 years with UNHCR, where was in charge of refugee protection activities in Armenia (1993-1995) and the Russian Federation (1995-1999) and was responsible for refugee law training activities in Austria (2000-2004). Before joining the FRA Adriano Silvestri was at the International Protection Division in Geneva, where he focused on internally- displaced persons, detention of asylum seekers and refugee integration.
Michele LeVoy is the Director of PICUM, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, and leads the organisation’s work in advocating, monitoring and raising awareness of undocumented migrants’ human rights within European and global institutions. She sits on the Steering Committee of Migrants Rights International, a global alliance of organisations promoting migrants’ rights. Ms LeVoy was previously coordinator of an international Master Degree programme in Human Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and coordinator of a European multicultural society youth program at Pax Christi International. She has worked with resettled refugees in Chicago, USA, and with migrants in Brazil. She holds degrees in French, and Justice and Peace Studies from the University of St. Thomas and a Masters in Applied Sciences (Housing and Development Programme) from the Université Catholique de Louvain.
Cecilia Wikström is a member of the European Parliament for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). She sits as a full member in the Committee on Legal Affairs and is also a substitute member in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee Employment and Social Affairs. Within the European Parliament, Ms Wikström is very engaged in the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and has worked as the ALDE spokesperson on the revision of the mandate of Frontex (strengthening the operational capabilities of the European Agency for cooperation at external EU borders).
Władysław Bartoszewski is the current Secretary of State in the Chancellery of Prime Minister, Plenipotentiary of Prime Minister for International Dialogue, Poland. He was a participant of civilian defence of Warsaw and a prisoner of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Released with the help of the Polish Red Cross, he became a soldier of Polish underground Army and co-founder of the Polish underground Council for Aid to Jews ‘Zegota’. He participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After the Second World War, Mr Bartoszewski was active in the opposition and was arrested several times by the communist authorities. He was awarded the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ medal, decorated with the Polish Order of White Eagle, the Medal of Merit to the Austrian Republic, and the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. After 1990 he served twice as the head of the Polish diplomacy. Mr Bartoszewski is author of about 50 books and over 1500 articles on history, Europe and politics.
Monika Prus has been the Director of the Migration Policy Department in the Ministry of the Interior and Administration (MoIA) in Poland since 2007. She graduated from the Law and Administration Faculty of Warsaw University. Ms Prus has been working in the field of migration since 1998. Between 1998 and 2001 she worked as a specialist in the Department for Migration and Refugees in the MoIA, responsible for administrative procedures concerning foreigners applying for residence permits in Poland. From 2001 to 2006, she worked for the Office for Repatriation and Foreigners, being in charge of international cooperation of the Office from 2004. In 2006 Ms Prus was employed in the newly created Migration Policy Department at the MoIA. She also represents Poland in the Steering Board of the European Migration Network.
Michel Quillé has been Deputy Director of Europol since September 2006, firstly in charge of the Governance Department and, since 2011 in charge of the Operations Department. Prior to this position he worked in the French Ministry of Interior as Director of Multilateral Law Enforcement Cooperation, in charge of Interpol, Schengen and Europol for the whole of the French security forces. He was also French member of the team in charge of drafting the Convention against Organised Crime - the "Palermo Convention" - at the UNODC in Vienna between 1988 and 2000. From 1980 to 1998 he was a Police Officer, specialised in the fight against mafias, with a specific focus on trafficking of human beings and drugs.
Padraig Dooley is Deputy Director at the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) in Ireland. He joined NERA in May 2010 and as Deputy Director is responsible for the day-to-day management and control of all of the Authority’s operations. NERA was established under a Social Partnership Agreement in 2007 to achieve a national culture of employment rights compliance. It provides information to employees and employers through its information unit, monitors employment conditions through its inspection services, and can enforce compliance and seek redress. Prior to joining NERA, Padraig worked in regulatory, policy and legislation areas within the Irish government with a particular focus on taxation.
Irena Lipowicz is Human Rights Defender for the Republic of Poland. Since 1980, Ms Lipowicz has been a member of the "Solidarność" Trade Union and a founding member of its Upper Silesian division. Between 1991 – 2002 she was the deputy chair of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) and a member of the Committee which drafted the Constitution of 1997. Since then, she has chaired various parliamentary committees of the Sejm. She was also Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Austria and served as the Ambassador – Representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Polish – German relations. Ms Lipowitz was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for the Services to the Republic of Austria and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Sam Hägglund is General Secretary of the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) - the European Industry Federation for the construction industry, the building materials industry, the wood and furniture industry and the forestry industry. The EFBWW has 75 affiliated unions in 31 countries and represents a total of 2,350,000 members. From 2000 to 2007 Mr Hägglund was General Secretary of the Nordic Federation of Building and Woodworkers. Previously Mr Hägglund has also been active in research projects related to social policy, history and education.
Pedro Augusto Almeida Freire is Vice-President of the Confederation of Portuguese Commerce and Services (CCP). He has been a Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) since September 2006. As a member of the Employers' Group of the EESC, he takes part in the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, Section for External Relations, and Consultative Commission on Industrial Change. He is also Vice President of the Single Market Observatory and chairs a number of working groups, including the working group on “EU crisis exit strategies and industrial change: more precarious or sustainable jobs?” "Work and poverty: toward an indispensible global approach “, "An area of freedom, security and justice in service of the citizens" and "Social consequences of the legislation on new economic governance" and several more.
Maciej Szpunar is Under Secretary of State for legal and treaty affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Poland. Mr Szpunar graduated from the Silesia University, Faculty of Law and Administration. In 1996, he completed postgraduate studies at the Law Department of the College of Europe in Bruges, followed by Ph.D. studies at the Silesia University in Katowice. Mr Szpunar completed his bar traineeship in 2001. In 2009, he obtained a habilitation in Legal Science (specialisation: Law of the EU and private international law). He participates in various research projects and groups: member of “Acquis Group” on Existing EC Private Law; member of the research team of the Natolin European Centre; and member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of European Law in Trier. In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr Maciej Szpunar is responsible for representing the Polish government before judicial bodies of the EU and the EFTA Court.
Working group chairs
Gordon Alexander is currently the Director of the UNICEF Office of Research based in Florence, Italy. He is also leading the Innocenti Research Centre (IRC). Between 2001-2010 Mr. Alexander served in a number of senior positions in the UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Prior to that Mr. Alexander held leadership positions in the UN in India, where he served as Senior Country Programme Adviser for UNAIDS and earlier as Deputy Director for Programmes in the UNICEF India Country Office. He had also served as UNICEF representative in Yemen, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Rudi Delarue has been Director of the ILO Brussels office for the EU and the Benelux countries since June 2008. Prior to this, he was an official of the European Commission from 1999, where he held posts relating to international affairs and to social dialogue. Between 1987 and 1999 he was an official of the Christian trade union confederation of Belgium (ACV/CSC). In that period, he was member of the Belgian National Labour Council, the temporary agency work joint committee, the EU social dialogue committee and of the ILO conference committee on the application of standards. He was also a (co-)negotiator of many national collective agreements as well as the EU framework agreements on parental leave and part-time work.
Ralf René Weingärtner is currently Director for Human Rights and Antidiscrimination at the Council of Europe. Before that he served as Director of Youth and Sport (2004-2011). In his professional career Mr Weingärtner has held posts in both national and international public administration including higher management positions in the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, the International Labour Organisation, the German Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs, the European Commission and the German Representation to the European Union.
Fabian Lutz is responsible for Border Management and Return Policy at DG Home Affairs in the European Commission. Mr Lutz has been working for the European Commission for 15 years. Prior to this, Mr Lutz worked in the Austrian public administration. As Commission official he accompanied the elaboration of several pieces of the EU´s migration acquis covering the field of return (Return Directive 2008/115/EC); legal migration (Directive 2004/114/EC on third country students and Directive 2005/71/EC on third country researchers) and illegal migration (Carriers Liability Directive 2001/51). Currently he is dealing with a proposed amendment to the Schengen Border Code.
Shirin Wheeler is based in the BBC's Brussels bureau and presents the EU politics TV programme ‘The Record: Europe. The programme is broadcast each weekend on BBC News 24, BBC Parliament and BBC World. Shirin has been working from Brussels since 1996 working mainly for BBC TV and Radio. In 2008, Shirin Wheeler won the first European Parliament Prize for Journalism (TV section) for the programme's significant contribution to the better understanding of major EU issues. Before coming to Brussels, Shirin worked with the BBC in London as Health Correspondent for London and the South East of England. Her series on Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital was shortlisted by the Mental Health Foundation for its contribution to understanding mental illness. She was awarded the BT Regional reporter of the year for covering health issues in the South East of England.
As of 2009, Friso Roscam Abbing is Head of Communication and Awareness Raising at the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), based in Vienna. Mr Roscam Abbing is a Dutch national, and graduated with a Masters in Public Administration and Public Law from the University of Amsterdam. Previously he was Member of Cabinet, of European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot (Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice), where he was responsible for refugee policy, fundamental rights and citizenship issues. From 2004- 2008, he was Spokesman of European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini (Commissioner responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice issues). He has a strong background in refugee policy issues, both from an intergovernmental and a non-governmental perspective. He was head of the EU Asylum Polices sector at the European Commission’s DG Justice, Freedom and security (2000-2004). Before that he was Director of the EU Office of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE, 1994-2000). He started his career as Head of the Legal Department at the Dutch Refugee Council (1986-1994).