European Mountain Convention

SPEAKERS

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26 Oct

Opening

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Juanan Gutiérrez Lazpita

President of Euromontana

Geographer, graduated from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Master in Geography, Ecology and Development of Mountain Areas at the University of Grenoble and Interuniversity Degree in Cartography and Remote Sensing at the Universities of Louvain-La-Neuve, Liège and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Since 1989 Juanan Gutierrez has been working at HAZI (a public company financed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government) where he is currently responsible for the Department of Prospective and Cooperation Networks. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the World Rural Forum (NGO working in the field of cooperation). Juanan Gutierrez has been President of Euromontana since 2012.

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Roberto Occhiuto

President of the Calabria Region

Bio to come

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Cristiano Fini

President of Cia Agricoltori Italiani

A Modenese farmer from Castelfranco Emilia, he was appointed President of Cia Agricoltori Italiani by the 8th Elective Assembly on 20 May 2022. Mr. Fini has an agro-technical background and is the owner of a farm and wine business with 13 hectares of organic vineyards. Former President of Cia Emilia-Romagna since 2018 and, previously, of Cia Modena, he is also a member of the Board of Directors of Cantine Riunite Civ and was a member of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Modena.

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Francesco Curcio

President of the Sila National Park

Francesco Curcio is President of the Sila National Park since 2019 and former head of the State Forestry Corps in Basilicata. Recruited into the State Forestry Corps Administration on 1 January 1974, he initially served at the former State Forestry Inspectorate in Potenza. In April 1975, he was transferred to the Inspectorate of Forests in Cosenza, where he worked until 1993. He then directed the 'Regional Forestry and Environmental Police Sector for Calabria' until 1998, the date on which he was appointed Head of the former ASFD (now Territorial Office for Biodiversity in Cosenza) with the consequent appointment as Director of the 'National Park of Calabria'.

Session 1

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Chair: Juanan Gutiérrez Lazpita

President of Euromontana

Geographer, graduated from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Master in Geography, Ecology and Development of Mountain Areas at the University of Grenoble and Interuniversity Degree in Cartography and Remote Sensing at the Universities of Louvain-La-Neuve, Liège and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Since 1989 Juanan Gutierrez has been working at HAZI (a public company financed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government) where he is currently responsible for the Department of Prospective and Cooperation Networks. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the World Rural Forum (NGO working in the field of cooperation). Juanan Gutierrez has been President of Euromontana since 2012.

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Elisa Ferreira

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Elisa Ferreira is a Portuguese politician and economist who has been serving as European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms in the administration of President Ursula von der Leyen since 2019. She previously served as vice-governor of the Bank of Portugal from 2016 until 2019. In Portugal, she was also Minister for Planning (Spatial and Regional Development) from 1999 to 2002 and Minister for Environment between 1995 and 1999. Elisa Ferreira also held parliamentary functions, first as Member of the Portuguese Parliament from 2002 to 2004 and then as She was as Member of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2016.

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Ole Gustav Narud

State Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Norway

Ole Gustav Narud is Secretary of State for the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development since 14 October 2021. Narud graduated as an agricultural economist before working as Assistant professor and taking on various positions at the Centre Party's parliamentary group. 

Ole Gustav Narud was mayor of Åmot and has been a county council representative for Hedmark. Narud was chair of the Local Community Association from 2009 – 2021.

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Herbert Dorfmann

Member of the European Parliament from South Tyrol, Italy

After becoming the director of the agriculture department at the Bolzano Chamber of Commerce and directing the South Tyrolean Farmers’ Federation for nearly ten years, Dorfmann’s political career started in 2005 when he became the mayor of his hometown. In 2009, he was elected for his first mandate at the European Parliament as representative for South Tyrol, a German-speaking region in Northern Italy. He was subsequently re-elected as a MEP for the European People’s Party in 2014 and 2019, for a second and third mandate.  Mr Dorfmann is currently a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas & Smart Villages, a member of the AGRI and FISC Committees, and a substitute member in the BUDG, REGI and ECON Committees.

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Władysław Ortyl

Marshal of the Podkarpackie Region, Poland & member of the European Committee of the Regions

Marshal Władysław Ortyl has a degree in aviation construction from the University of Technology of Rzeszów. From 1992 to 1998, he was Chairman of the Board of the Regional Development Agency in Mielec, before becoming a councilor of the Podkarpackie Provincial Parliament until 2005. He was elected Senator in 2005 and was appointed the same year as Secretary of State at the Ministry of Regional Development, where he was responsible for the preparation and implementation of Integrated Regional Operation Programme as well as the Eastern Poland Operation Programme and transborder programmes cofinanced by the EU. He was elected Marshal of the Podkarpacki region in 2013, and is a Member of the European Committee of the Regions since 2016, where is a member of the COTER and ENVE commissions.

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Roberto Berutti

 Member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski

Bio to come

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Giuseppe Blasi

Head of Department for European and International Policies and Rural Development at the  Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Policies

Bio to come

Session 2

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Stefano Sala

UNIMONT, University of Milan

Stefano Sala is a project officer working at the interdisciplinary research centre for the sustainable development of Mountain Areas (Ge.S.Di.Mont.) active at UNIMONT - University of Milan. He has gained experience working on interdisciplinary research projects for the development of mountain areas, with a specific focus on governance and policies for sustainable development. He has been supporting the EUSALP Action Group 1 – to develop an effective research and innovation ecosystem with the objective of promoting coherent R&I policies at the regional, national and transnational level.

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Tom Jones

 President of the European Rural Community Alliance (ERCA)

Tom Jones is a livestock farmer from Mid Wales. He represented the UK on the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels for nearly 14 years. There he served on the NAT Bureau and was Rapporteur on 3 Opinions – the 2014-2022 Rural Development Programme, The future of Europe’s Villages and small Towns and the Contribution of Europe’s Rural Areas to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. He was also the EESC Expert on its Opinion on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas. He was a member of the ENRD Smart Villages Thematic Group, is an author and President of ERCA, European Rural Community Alliance and joint coordinator of the ERP European Rural Parliament.  He is also Vice President of WCVA, Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

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Giulia Paoletti

Eurac Research

Giulia Paoletti is an architect by training, specialized in high energy performing buildings, building stock analysis, development of energy renovation strategies and identification of innovative financing model, de-risking process and verification of technical targets during all phases of the renovation process. She has a solid experience as Project Manager in both European and national projects dealing with energy renovation of buildings, where her work combines technical innovation, sustainable strategies and inclusive engagement of stakeholders. She is also currently involved in the implementation of the New European Bauhaus of Mountains initiative in South Tyrol

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Idoia Arauzo González

Coordinator of the Dynamisation and development unit of the Working Community of the Pyrenean 

Idoia Arauzo has been working for over fifteen years on a number of topics including energy planning, sustainable development and urban planning. From 2015 to 2019 she has been in charge of the coordination of the Pyrenees Climate Change Observatory, within the public body Working Community of the Pyrenees, CTP. Since 2020, she coordinates the CTP’s Unit for Pyrenean Development and Cross-Border Cooperation.

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Maxime Bernard

 EUSALP Youth Council

Bio to come

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Thierry Antoine-Santoni

Pascal Paoli University of Corsica

Thierry Antoine-Santoni, is a Full Professor in Computer Science. He was Vice-President of the University of Corsica from 2012 to 2020 and is currently the Director of the INSPE of Corsica. He has participated in numerous research projects on wireless sensor networks and environmental monitoring. From 2017 to 2021, Thierry Antoine-Santoni was the scientific coordinator of the Smart Village - Smart Paesi programme: the emergence of smart territories. He is the author of nearly thirty scientific publications and several scientific and technical reports. He is currently working on ambient intelligence for the environment, integrating the notion of system resilience, with numerous French and European partners.

Session 3

Workshops

Smart Living

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Torunn Kornstad

Senior Advisor at Innlandet County 

Torunn Kornstad is a Senior advisor in the Innlandet County administration. She holds a Master’s Degree in agricultural economy from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. In the past, Ms Kornstad worked on issues related to agriculture and development at county level. Today, she works especially on the topics related to businesses and small societies development in the Innlandet County. Ms Kornstad is engaged in mountain related topics since 2009 and is the County’s contact person for the Norwegian Mountain Network. In 2010, she was one of the organisers of the VII European Mountain Convention in Lillehammer.

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Laura Gascón Herrero

Senior Project Manager at the Provincial Government of Teruel, office of Territorial development and European Projects Affairs

Laura Gascón Herrero is working since 2009 at the Provincial Government of Teruel to manage European funded projects that aim at fighting depopulation in this sparsely populated mountain area. She has long experience regarding services of general interest, notably demonstrated in past projects on rural services and mobility such as PADIMA and MOG. Today, Laura Gascón Herrero is working on topics such as territorial revitalisation through tourism and cultural heritage and development of the rural Silver Economy within the SILVER SMEs, RAMSAT and Be.CULTOUR projects.

Smart Employement

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Barbara Harterink

Senior adviser at Vestland County Council 

Barbara Harterink has an international law degree from The Netherlands. She has been involved in EU-projects in Western Norway since the nineties. She has a special expertise in Erasmus+ Youth projects, Youth participation and Learning through volunteering in Europe for early school leavers. Currently, she is the project leader for two EU-financed partnerships linked to rural areas: P-IRIS (Policies to Improve Rural areas’ Innovation Systems) and YESpecialists (Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Specialists ).

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Javier Ruiz

Employment and Entrepreneurship Officer of the LAG AGALSA Sierra de la Demanda 

Javier Ruiz holds a post graduate degree in human resources. Over the last 30 years, he has been a Board member of the Asociación Cultural Km.12 which works to bring cultural events to rural areas. Mr Ruiz returned to his hometown at the age of 45 with the intention to live in rural areas and work for their development. For the last two years, he has been working in the Local Action Group AGALSA, developing the Demanda Coworking Rural strategy. In addition, Mr Ruiz works as a coach and career advisor, mainly for rural women, and also provides training in digital skills.

Smart and clean mobility

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Mihaela Lite

Superior councillor at the International Relations Office of Maramures County Council

Mihaela Lite is a former mechanical engineer who became a public officer in the field of international relations at Maramures County Council in 1992. She also has a background in law studies and holds a master’s degree in public administration. Over the years, Ms Lite has acquired experience in project management and European studies. She is especially experienced in developing and managing projects funded by INTERREG, HUSKROUA CBC, EEA and Norway Grants as well as establishing twinning relations with European regions and actively participating in international associations.

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Idoia Arauzo González

Coordinator of the Dynamisation and development unit of the Working Community of the Pyrenean 

Idoia Arauzo has been working for over fifteen years on a number of topics including energy planning, sustainable development and urban planning. From 2015 to 2019 she has been in charge of the coordination of the Pyrenees Climate Change Observatory, within the public body Working Community of the Pyrenees, CTP. Since 2020, she coordinates the CTP’s Unit for Pyrenean Development and Cross-Border Cooperation.

 

27 Oct

Session 4

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Enrique Nieto

European Association for Information on Local Development (AEIDL)

Mr Nieto holds a Forest Engineers degree, an International MSc in Rural Development (IMRD) and an MSc in International Business, Economics and Management. He has more than ten years’ experience in territorial and rural development and has been extensively involved in EU-level policy networking in different networks support units for the European Commission such as in the European Fisheries Areas Network (FARNET), the Contact Point of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), and more recently in the Common Agricultural Policy Network (CAP Network). As Head of Unit in AEIDL, Enrique coordinates the policy direction of the thematic strands of the organisation, and contributes to the implementation of EU funded-projects (e.g. Horizon-funded projects such as MOVING, SHERPA and DESIRA).

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Bill Slee

SIMRA project

Bill Slee is a social scientist with over 40 years of experience in teaching and researching rural development at the Universities of Plymouth, Aberdeen and Gloucestershire and at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen where he led the Social Economics and Geographical Sciences Research Group. He has an MA in Geography from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen in rural economics. He was active in pre-accession work in new member states and on a number of European Union funded research projects on topics as varied as rural tourism, local food and water quality, as well as many UK projects.  His last major project was on Social Innovation in Marginal Rural Areas (SIMRA) funded by EU Horizon 2020.

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Mar Delgado-Serrano

University of Cordoba 

Mar Delgado-Serrano is an agriculture engineer and Professor at the Department of Agriculture Economics (Higher School of Agriculture and Forestry Engineering), in the University of Cordoba (Spain) and local Director of the Erasmus Mundus International Master on Rural Development. Her work has been mainly focused on analysing policies for the development of rural areas and to sustainability science, which she has done in the frame of a number of initiatives coordinated by UNESCO, the FAO, the World Bank and the European Commission.  She has been involved in several EU funded research projects in the of sustainable rural development, with a strong focus on socio-economic aspects. Most notably, she is currently coordinating two Horizon 2020 projects respectively on sustainable mountain development and inclusive health and wellbeing in small and medium size cities (MOVING and IN-HABIT). 

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Marc Pons

Andorra Research & Innovation

Bio to come

Session 5

Workshops

Smart Economy

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Klavdija Gornik

Mihaela Lite is a former mechanical engineer who became a public officer in the field of international relations at Maramures County Council in 1992. She also has a background in law studies and holds a master’s degree in public administration. Over the years, Ms Lite has acquired experience in project management and European studies. She is especially experienced in developing and managing projects funded by INTERREG, HUSKROUA CBC, EEA and Norway Grants as well as establishing twinning relations with European regions and actively participating in international associations.

Project Manager at the Regional Development Agency for Podravje – Maribor

Klavdija Gornik is Project Manager at the Regional Development Agency for Podravje - Maribor since 2011. She has developed expertise in local project management and follows all stages of project development, from conceptualisation to implementation. Her priority at Regional Development Agency for Podravje – Maribor is to listen to problems and find solutions

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Veronica Blumenthal

Mihaela Lite is a former mechanical engineer who became a public officer in the field of international relations at Maramures County Council in 1992. She also has a background in law studies and holds a master’s degree in public administration. Over the years, Ms Lite has acquired experience in project management and European studies. She is especially experienced in developing and managing projects funded by INTERREG, HUSKROUA CBC, EEA and Norway Grants as well as establishing twinning relations with European regions and actively participating in international associations.

Senior Researcher at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Veronica Blumenthal is a passionate research communicator and works as a Senior Researcher at The Eastern Norway Research Institute at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. She holds a PhD in tourism and a master’s degree in nature-based tourism. She has experience from working in the tourism industry in the Norwegian mountains and her research centres on regional development, sustainability, and tourism in rural areas. 

Enabling tools 

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Gianluca Lentini

Researcher and Project Manager at Poliedra - Politecnico di Milano, Interreg Alpine Space Smart Villages project

Gianluca Lentini is geophysicist, specialised in climate change, the atmospheric system and system Earth dynamics. He works as researcher and project manager at Consorzio Poliedra in international and regional projects on sustainable development, with a specific focus on mountain areas. Mr Lentini is also a science communicator and author on the issues of climate change, environmental sustainability and history of science.

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Ashya Lane-Spollen

Deputy Lead at the Broadband Competence Office Network Support Facility

Ashya Lane-Spollen is working with the Broadband Competence Office Network since its launch in 2017, supporting EU Member States and regions in building their capacity to bring high-speed broadband to all citizens, with an emphasis on rural and remote areas. She has 12 years' experience in communications and public relations consulting for public and private sector clients across the fields of digital connectivity, agricultural sustainability, government, philanthropy, advocacy, and culture.

Smart management of natural resources

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Javier Pérez Pérez

Mihaela Lite is a former mechanical engineer who became a public officer in the field of international relations at Maramures County Council in 1992. She also has a background in law studies and holds a master’s degree in public administration. Over the years, Ms Lite has acquired experience in project management and European studies. She is especially experienced in developing and managing projects funded by INTERREG, HUSKROUA CBC, EEA and Norway Grants as well as establishing twinning relations with European regions and actively participating in international associations.

Natural Environment Area Officer at HAZI

Javier Pérez Pérez holds a degree in Biological Sciences; he has been working since 2002 in environmental consulting and currently works as a Natural Environment Area Officer at the HAZI Foundation in Vitoria-Gasteiz. In the past, he has worked on various topics such as environmental impact assessment, restoration of degraded areas and ecological connectivity. Javier Pérez Pérez also participated in several Interreg POCTEFA projects (Bidur, Guratrans and Green) and LIFE projects (Irekibai, Tremedal, Baccata, Biodiversidad y Trasmochos, Ordunte Sostenible, Pro Izki, Oreka Mendian).

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Georgia Dimopoulou

Mihaela Lite is a former mechanical engineer who became a public officer in the field of international relations at Maramures County Council in 1992. She also has a background in law studies and holds a master’s degree in public administration. Over the years, Ms Lite has acquired experience in project management and European studies. She is especially experienced in developing and managing projects funded by INTERREG, HUSKROUA CBC, EEA and Norway Grants as well as establishing twinning relations with European regions and actively participating in international associations.

Volunteer at the Social Cooperative Enterprise for the Protection of Menalon

Georgia Dimopoulou has a background in Economics and holds a Master of Science in Tourism Management. She works at the Ministry of Tourism in the department responsible for coordination of public policies. Since 2015, she is involved as a volunteer in projects for the valorisation of the Menalon trail. Ms Dimopoulou was involved in the restoration of ancient paths, previously used to connect villages, and which led to the certification of the Menalon trail by the European Ramblers Association.

Closure

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Giacomo Giovinazzo

General Director of the Agriculture Department and Managing Authority of the Rural Development Programme Calabria

Giacomo Giovinazzo is Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Agrifood Resources and Forestry of the Calabria Region since 2018; which is the Managing Authority of the 2014-2022 Calabrian Rural Development Programme. He is an agronomist and carries out his professional activity on the development of Calabria's agricultural sector with experience and passion.

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Pasquale Tridico

President of INPS

Pasquale Tridico is an Italian economist, since 14 March 2019 Commissioner and then President of INPS. Since 2019 he is Full Professor of Economic Policy and Professor of Labour Economics at the Department of Economics of the Roma Tre University, where he is also Director of the Jean Monnet Labour, Welfare and Social Rights Research Centre of Excellence, holder of the European Union Jean Monnet Chair in Economic Growth and Welfare Systems, and Coordinator of the Master's degree course in Labour Market, Industrial Relations and Welfare Systems. He was Director of the Master's Degree Course in Human Development and Food Security from 2013 to September 2018. With the decree-law of 14 March 2019, the Conte I government designated him as president of INPS, a post he officially took on 22 May of the same year by Decree of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella.

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Gianluca Gallo

Councillor for Agriculture at the Region of Calabria

Gianluca Gallo is a Regional Councillor and Councillor for Agriculture, Agri-Food Resources and Forestry of the Calabria Region. A lawyer by profession, he has been in charge of the Local Government Department since March 2020. In this position, in particular, he made the policies for the mountains central through investments and initiatives for environmental protection, enhancement of forest resources, revitalisation of inland areas, and promotion of typical quality production.

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Nicodemo Podella

Regional President of the Cia Agricoltori Italiani Calabria

Bio to come

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Juanan Gutiérrez Lazpita

President of Euromontana

Geographer, graduated from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Master in Geography, Ecology and Development of Mountain Areas at the University of Grenoble and Interuniversity Degree in Cartography and Remote Sensing at the Universities of Louvain-La-Neuve, Liège and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Since 1989 Juanan Gutierrez has been working at HAZI (a public company financed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government) where he is currently responsible for the Department of Prospective and Cooperation Networks. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the World Rural Forum (NGO working in the field of cooperation). Juanan Gutierrez has been President of Euromontana since 2012.

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Guillaume Corradino

Director of Euromontana

Guillaume has joined Euromontana in January 2022. He is a dual French / Italian citizen with a background in European affairs and political sciences and 14+ years of experience in Brussels, working mainly in the areas of environment, urban and rural development, energy and transport. Before joining Euromontana, he has worked successively for the railway industry, the European Commission’s DG Enlargement (now NEAR), eco-innovation network Greenovate! Europe, and the environmental NGO PAN Europe. He has expertise in EU funded research project development and management, as well as in communication and dissemination or project results.